Hinsdale Central completes perfect season
Hinsdale Central senior Charlie Sessa's older brother Will contributed to a West Suburban Conference Silver Division football championship in 2018.
Friday was Charlie's chance to add to the tradition.
In this abbreviated, delayed and challenging season, the Red Devils could do no better as they completed an impressive undefeated run by beating rival Lyons Township 31-10 In Western Springs.
"It's definitely awesome. We're going to have some funny talks on which team was better," said Sessa, a Red Devils' wide receiver. "They were a great team, though. It's awesome to follow in their footsteps with a bunch of great players."
Hinsdale Central (6-0, 5-0 in Silver) outscored its six opponents a combined 229-31 en route to being Silver champs for the first time since the 2018 team shared the title in a three-way tie. The Red Devils' last outright Silver title was 2016.
This season's Red Devils beat all of the other Silver schools except Downers Grove North because their March 26 game was canceled. The Trojans lost their three Silver games played.
"(Silver champs) 100 percent, 100 percent," Sessa said. "We worked hard. We overcame so much. We're 100 percent the conference champs. Nobody should be doubting that."
"That's exactly what it's about. Red Devil football," senior quarterback Michael Brescia said. "After last year, all of those seniors pushed us really hard and made us hungry. I hope that the juniors now take on that baton and push harder because now we've got a target on our back."
Brescia passed for 230 yards and two more TDs Friday to finish with nine this season. Sessa and Ryan Orput each had one TD catch to finish with five and three, respectively.
LT (2-2, 1-2) became the first team this season to score on Hinsdale Central before the fourth quarter, taking a 3-0 lead on its opening drive and closing to 17-10 late in the third quarter before the Red Devils' defense responded with back-to-back three-and-out stops and the Red Devils added two more scores.
Second-year Hinsdale Central head coach Brian Griffin, a 2003 Hinsdale Central graduate, was part of outright Silver championship teams as a senior and junior and an assistant coach on the Red Devils' previous two Silver crowns.
"It's never been about a coach or a player or person. It's about the team and what we can do when we come together and we fight together. And this group fought. I'm so proud of how they fought for this year," Griffin said.
"All you can do in a situation like this is try to win each game you have and we did that so I'm really proud of these kids, what they put in before and all of these kids -- kids at all of the conference schools and across the state. This has been a grind."
Sessa and Brescia had one of the huge plays by connecting on a 49-yard TD pass for a 10-3 lead 7:58 before halftime.
After a sack by J.T. Pyle forced LT to punt from its end zone, the Red Devils started from the LT 33 and Nicholas Fahy's 4-yard TD run opened a 17-3 halftime advantage.
The Lions closed to 17-10 with a 76-yard TD drive capped by quarterback Joseph Antionetti's 3-yard TD run with 6-foot-2 Ryan Hatter Jr. inserted as a backfield blocker. After the Red Devils' defense tightened again, Brescias cored on a 1-yard run with 7:29 left and found a wide-open Orput for an 18-yard TD on fourth-and-5 with 2:29 to go.
LT's Owen McManaman recovered two fumbles.
"This season, it's been tough. There's been (canceled) games, things we couldn't control, but this group of guys stayed together," LT senior linebacker Ian Larson said. "We've gone through so much together. No season, season, games canceled. Our first game got canceled. That was just a punch to the heart, but we came back as a group. We played our best game we could have and I'm happy about that."
The Lions opened with a 23-yard field goal from Marko Dubak after Hatter Jr.'s blocked punt gave them the ball at the Red Devils' 41. The Red Devils answered with an 82-yard drive and 26-yard field goal from Owen Jansen.