Hinsdale Central becomes playoff eligible with win over Downers North

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Hinsdale Central 20, Downers Grove North 14


The return of senior starting quarterback Chase Hamilton provided a huge spark for the Red Devils (5-4 overall, 3-3 West Suburban Silver), who were in a must-win game to become playoff eligible. Hamilton fractured a bone in his ankle in a Week 3 win over York and had been out ever since with what many thought would be a season-ending injury. Hamilton split time with Jacob White and Thomas Ives on Friday in Hinsdale.


Hamilton entered the game on the Red Devils’ second possession of the game and engineered a 10-play drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by White that put Hinsdale Central ahead 7-0 with 23 seconds left in the first quarter. The Red Devils never trailed.


White, a senior linebacker and quarterback, did it all for the Red Devils. He rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown and sealed the win by converting a fourth-and-one at Hinsdale Central’s own 45 with 25 seconds left. He also led the team in tackles on defense.


Hinsdale Central had been resigned to running the ball the past few weeks because of injuries, but used a balanced attack Friday. The Red Devils rushed for 140 yards, while Hamilton completed 2 of 6 passes for 39 yards and Ives connected on 3 of 3 passes for 56 yards. Downers North (5-4, 2-4) was held to 189 yards of offense.


“It was gratifying with all the adversity and injuries we’ve been through all year. For us to crawl back and have an opportunity to get into the playoffs is really important for these kids. They fought all year and had our backs against the wall. We feel good about where we’re at.” — Hinsdale Central coach Rich Tarka

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