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Football: Oswego gets eighth straight win with rout of Hinsdale Central

Oswego players celebrate their 42-14 wover Hinsdale Central their IHSA Class 8A playoff Saturday Oswego. | Mary Beth Nolan/For Sun-Times

Oswego players celebrate their 42-14 win over Hinsdale Central in their IHSA Class 8A playoff Saturday in Oswego. | Mary Beth Nolan/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 5, 2013 6:17AM

Brian Cooney couldn’t have drawn it up any better on paper beforehand.

“It went as well as we could possibly expect, and then some,” the Oswego coach said of his team’s 42-14 Class 8A first-round playoff win Saturday night over Hinsdale Central.

The host Panthers ate up yardage and the clock with their power running game, made the most of the three passes quarterback Steven Frank completed, got four turnovers from a ball-hawking defense and capitalized on a tough night for the Red Devils’ punter.

Senior running back Tyler Walsh ran 33 times for 167 yards and one score.

“He had that many (carries)?” Cooney said. “Tyler’s a hard-nosed kid for sure.”

Walsh, who upped his season rushing total to 1,180 yards, found plenty of openings working behind his offensive line of Elisio Guerra, Jared Connors, Andrew Kraus, Erik Mikkelson and Charlie Smith. They average 270 pounds, but Walsh also made plenty of yards after contact.

Oswego took advantage of eight- and 15-yard punts by the visitors on their first two possessions, starting both drives at the Central 48.

C.J. Brown gathered in a nine-yard scoring pass from Frank to cap the first drive and Walsh went nearly untouched up the middle for a four-yard score on the second.

The Red Devils (5-5) answered on running back Juwan Edmund’s burst through the middle of the Oswego defense, motoring 89 yards for a score.

Walsh and Bryce Holm (10 rushes, 52 yards) softened up the Central defense on the next two drives, pounding the ball close before Frank connected on scoring tosses of 17 and 34 yards to Zach West for a 28-7 lead.

The Red Devils recovered a Walsh fumble inside the Oswego 10 and pulled to within 28-14 on a three-yard TD run Ben Stefani.

“I never think it’s in control until the clock is down to 0:00,” said Cooney, who was able to relax soon after when linebacker Griffin Lawrence intercepted a pass by Chase Hamilton (11-of-29, 167 yards) and ran it back 37 yards for a score.

“That was definitely the game breaker,” Cooney said. “It was good to see because it’s his first interception this year and he’s worked real hard.”

Hamilton, who returned to action last week after missing most of the season with a broken bone in his ankle, was picked off twice more by Oswego defensive back Mason Memming.

“It made it an extreme change for what kind of QB we had to prepare for,” Cooney said. “They’ve got two others (who run more) who got them into the playoffs. (Hamilton) didn’t have that many snaps under his belt. He might have been a little rusty.”

Forced to play from behind didn’t help. The Red Devils had a 300-284 edge in total yards but Oswego ran 57 plays to 45 for the visitors.

The Panthers’ eighth straight win after an 0-2 start earns them a rematch Saturday against the team that handed them their second loss, Waubonsie Valley.

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