BY KEN RYAN | Contributor
October 12, 2012 11:04PM
DOWNERS GROVE — Hinsdale Central has proven its depth at the wide receiver position this season.
Senior Joe Herr was the latest to step up to help the Red Devils clinch a playoff spot by holding off host Downers Grove North 21-20 Friday in a West Suburban Silver contest.
Herr had 10 receptions for 114 yards, including nine catches for 111 yards in the first half.
“It was a fun game,” Herr said. “Winning close is not really what we wanted to do, but we did it. Our offense and defense played well and we got the job done.”
The Red Devils (6-2, 3-2) were playing without injured senior Division I wide receiver prospect Ian Bunting and banged-up senior 1,000-yard rusher Jack Adams, but the offense didn’t miss a beat.
The win, however, didn’t come easy.
Downers North senior Brandon Salter returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown with 42.5 seconds left to pull the Trojans (5-3, 2-3) within 21-20, but Salter was stuffed on the two-point conversion attempt.
“A week ago we couldn’t stop the two points to win,” said Hinsdale Central coach Rich Tarka, whose team was coming off a loss to Oak Park-River Forest in overtime. “So I was like ‘Let’s see if we’ve grown in a week,’ and we did. It wasn’t fun to give up the touchdown at the end, but ultimately our defense stepped up and shut them down in the second half. I’m just glad we survived.”
Junior Ben Stefani rushed for 110 yards on 13 carries in his first varsity start for the Red Devils.
Hinsdale Central quarterback Brian Owens completed 18-of-26 passes for 251 yards and three TDs, including two to John Claussen and a 54-yarder to Chase Hamilton.
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper on Thursday to read more about the Hinsdale Central football team.
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