Hinsdale Central's Josh Bean shows poise with late-game decisions

5 minute read

Bob Narang Contact Reporter
Pioneer Press

In the fourth quarter of Hinsdale Central's game against Glenbard West, Josh Bean often had intentions of passing the ball down the field.

Hampered by a driving rain, a wet ball and a solid Glenbard West secondary, the quarterback became a runner instead, rallying the Red Devils to a 31-30 overtime victory on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Bean, a senior for Hinsdale Central (6-0, 4-0 West Suburban Silver), saved his best running for the final drive in regulation, carrying the ball 11 times for 26 yards in a 16-play drive that spanned over four minutes and covered 47 yards to set up Quentin Wallace's game-tying 36-yard field goal with 14 seconds left. Bean showed his poise and experience by not forcing any passes into the end zone, running out of bounds on numerous plays and slowly marching his team into field-goal range.

"A quarterback in that situation that is inexperienced ... might have taken a shot at the end zone," Hinsdale Central coach Dan Hartman said. "There were some guys down there, but he didn't feel great about it. He scrambled out of the pocket and ran out of bounds. If he would've stayed in bounds or up the middle, it would've been tough and we wouldn't have been able to get the field goal unit on the field."

Bean capped the comeback by tossing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Matt Bjorson in overtime to finish 15-of-21 passing for 202 yards and a touchdown with 19 carries for 63 yards and a rushing score.

"We've been saving (my running) for a while, and it was exciting to show it," Bean said.

After starting three games last season, Bean, a Columbia recruit, inherited the starting job in his third season on varsity. Senior offensive lineman Niko Ivanisevic said Bean has shown toughness and maturity numerous times during Hinsdale Central's unbeaten start. The Red Devils can move closer to winning their first conference crown since 2004 when they visit Lyons (6-0, 3-0) on Friday, Oct. 7.

"He didn't force any passes, and no one got rattled on offense in the fourth quarter when we were down and kept plugging away," Ivanisevic said. "Josh played a great game. Last year, he was in a position battle all year and that really helped him out. This year, he really stepped up and said, 'This is mine, and I'm a leader.' He's much more confident now."

Through six games, Bean is 70-of-100 passing for 900 yards and has thrown eight touchdown passes without an interception. Bean has rushed for 82 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.

Bean's game management against Glenbard West (4-2, 2-2) helped the Red Devils erase a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

"He's a great leader ... and really takes command of the offense," Hinsdale Central receiver Max Mittelstadt said. "When you have a guy like that, the sky is the limit to win a game in clutch. Josh took so many hits and kept getting up."

Game notes

Hinsdale Central players jumped around, danced and hi-fived one another following their victory. With the rain falling, Hartman, his players, his coaching staff and fans were in no hurry to leave the field.

"We've had a couple of big ones, but that was definitely the biggest (in my tenure)," Hartman said. "We haven't beat them in (10) years. It was a great game and we were down in the fourth quarter, but the kids didn't give up and battled. We haven't had a conference title since 2004. This sets up a huge matchup next week (against Lyons), and that's the way we like it."

Bean's touchdown pass to Bjorson in overtime was followed by a successful extra-point kick attempt. On the ensuing possession, Glenbard West quarterback Cole Brady, who completed 8 of 9 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns, tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alec Pierce (four catches, 163 yards, two touchdowns) to cut the deficit to 31-30, but his two-point pass fell incomplete to end the game.

"For four years, the seniors have dreamed about this win," Bean said. "It was a great game for both teams. It was a big win. I knew we have a great kicker in Quentin Wallace and I knew if we could get it in field-goal range, he could tie it. I knew we would win it in overtime and did whatever I could not to turn the ball over or take a sack. I trusted our offensive line in that situation to move the ball."

Bob Narang is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

Twitter @bobnarang 

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