It’s one thing to game-plan against Oak Forest’s run-heavy offense.
It’s quite another stopping it.
Hinsdale South found that out Friday in its Class 6A first round playoff game against the host Bengals.
Oak Forest piled up 364 yards of total offense, all but 20 coming on the ground, during a dominant 29-0 win over Hinsdale South.
The Bengals advance to play Shepard, a 23-7 winner over Perspectives Charter-Calumet.
“We lost to a quality football team tonight,” Hinsdale South coach Mike Barry said. “Sometimes it’s the X’s and the O’s and sometimes it’s the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s. You know what they’re going to do, but you still have to stop them. I’ve seen film on a lot of different teams. Oak Forest is going to be all right (in the playoffs).”
Oak Forest (9-1) not only had its way with the Hornets (7-3) on offense, the Bengals defense was equally superb.
Hinsdale South recorded just 93 yards of total offense and four first downs. Running back Arian Toney had a hard-fought 44 yards on 14 carries and quarterback D.J. Deolitsis, pressured most of the time, finished 7-of-15 for 36 yards.
“This was one of our best games all year,” Oak Forest defensive lineman Tom Livingston said. “Our prep team got us ready for this game. That’s who we give the credit to.”
Fullback Ben Santiago (20 carries, 106 yards) and wingback Tyler Usterbowski (7, 113) each topped the century mark on the ground.
However, it was Kyle Hullinger who gave the Bengals a 7-0 lead on a 30-yard scamper at 8:10 of the first quarter. The dash capped a seven-play, 65-yard game-opening drive by the Bengals.
“Scoring first was huge,” Oak Forest coach Brian McDonough said. “It took pressure of our defense.”
A 30-yard field goal by Blake Waller made it 10-0 at the half.
Any hope of a Hornets comeback was erased on the Bengals’ first series of the second half. After Santiago had a touchdown run called back, quarterback Nick Ciufia hit Hullinger on a 12-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-2 play. Waller added the PAT for a 17-0 spread at 6:18 of the third.
Oak Forest added two scores in the fourth quarter: a 29-yard run by Tom Zale and a 39-yard burst by Usterbowski en route to a 29-0 edge.
While the Bengals offensive line of Ricky Vargas, Jerry Conte, Jack Cramer, Mike Schoefeld and Mark Castrejon was providing large holes to run through, the defense left little or no daylight for the Hornets. Steve Vance, Mike Kane, Andrew McCann, Zach Westerhoff, Jimmy Rizzuti, Rondell Saddler and Livingston keyed the Bengals defense.