Toney’s career night delivers Hinsdale South playoff-clinching win over Willowbrook
Villa Park Friday 10/19/12 Hindsdale South QB#3 D.J. Deolitsis is dragged down by Willowbrook's#5 Jack Wood, as he scampers out of the back field. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 23, 2012 9:55PM
VILLA PARK — Hinsdale South turned a 21-point second quarter into its ticket for a playoff berth Friday night at Willowbrook.
In a must-win situation for their postseason lives, the Hornets beat West Suburban Gold rival Willowbrook 41-22 in Villa Park. The win sends Hinsdale South (6-3, 4-2) into the postseason for first time since 2005.
In the second quarter, an interception thrown by Brian Johnson turned into seven points for the Hornets to give Hinsdale a 24-15 lead with 6:22 remaining before the half. Jake Czajkowski picked off Johnson’s pass over the middle and on the next play, Arian Toney broke free for a 32-yard TD.
His three TDs in the first half matched his season high for a game. Toney rushed for 194 yards on 19 carries in the first half and finished with a career-high 289 yards on 37 carries. His previous career-best was 224 yards against York in Week 2. The Hornets outrushed Willowbrook (6-3, 4-2) 230-83 yards in the first half.
The Hornets finished 5-4 last season, but fell short of the necessary playoff points to advance. That surely would have been the Hornets fate again, if they had lost to Willowbrook.
“I’m ecstatic right now,” said Toney, a junior. “I can’t put it in words. It’s the playoffs, baby. I love it. “
Toney’s first TD run was for 67 yards in the first quarter to give the Hornets a 7-6 lead.
“We scored on our second play from scrimmage,” Hornets senior center Matt Welgos said. “I knew we were going to win this game.”
Hinsdale South took a 31-15 advantage at the half on quarterback D.J. Deolitsis’ 2-yard TD run with 9. 6 seconds remaining.
“This was an all-around team effort,” Hornets coach Mike Barry said. “Our defense bent a little bit, but did not break too bad.”
Hinsdale South’s six wins was its most since the 2005 team went 10-2.
The Warriors, which lost for the second time in three games, had already clinched their first playoff appearance since 2007 and completed a turn-around season after going winless for the first time in school history a year ago.
Dom Battaglia factored into two of Willowbrook’s two first-half TDs when he threw a 49-yard TD pass to Zach Brunig to open the scoring and then caught a 12-yard TD pass from Brian Johnson to begin the scoring in the second quarter. Battaglia was injured in a collision with a teammate in the second quarter, but returned after missing one series.
Jeremy Barnes led the Warriors with 13 carries for 72 yards and a TD. Battaglia directed Willowbrook’s first drive at QB, but the linebacker also caught three passes and rushed eight times for 55 yards.
“We’ll find out (if we can recover),” Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth said. “If we come out like we did today, our playoff run will be short-lived.”
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper on Thursday to read more about the Hinsdale South football team.