Daily Herald
Naperville Central ends it early
By Dave Oberhelman | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 11/5/2011 12:46 AM

Matt Randolph gave early notice he was ready to roll Friday, returning Belleville East's opening kickoff 48 yards.

"I was excited after that play," he said.

There was much more to come. The 215-pound senior back gained 200 yards on 16 carries with touchdown runs of 2 and 76 yards plus a 60-yarder to set up his first touchdown.

All that by midway through the third quarter in No. 9 seed Naperville Central's 43-3 running-clock victory over the No. 16 seed in the Class 8A second-round game in Naperville.

"We talked about just kind of doing what we do, pounding the ball, trying to control the clock. It worked tonight," Randolph said.

On defense Naperville Central (8-3) focused on running backs ReShawn Bean and Chase Allen. The Redhawks held Bean to 49 yards and Allen for 42 while intercepting 2 passes and recovering a fumble.

"They're great athletes and we keyed on them and forced them to pass, got a couple turnovers off that, some interceptions," said Redhawks senior Pat Clark, whose fumble recovery and interception led to scores.

"We can't turn the ball over and make mistakes," said Belleville East coach Tim Funk. "We did that, but at the same time we got beat by a better football team tonight, and that's obvious. They played well and we didn't."

Tyler Gillen's 36-yard field goal at 10:13 of the first quarter gave Naperville Central a 3-0 lead. Belleville East (6-5) answered with its best possession, moving 11 plays to tie the score on Austin Bartle's 24-yard field goal.

Naperville Central answered with vengeance. Randolph scampered 60 yards to set up his 2-yard touchdown, then the Redhawks got a safety on Zach Borta's sack of Lancers quarterback David Carter in the end zone.

They got the ball right back and marched 64 yards, Ian Lewandowski's 1-yard quarterback sneak putting the Redhawks up 19-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Following Clark's fumble recovery, Lewandowski got his arm into the act with a 31-yard touchdown pass to a sliding John Dicianni.

The defense forced a three-and-out, and a 44-yard pass to Clayton Scott set up Lewandowski's 6-yard keeper for a 33-3 halftime lead.

"Just being able to mix pass and run, I think it kind of threw them off," said Lewandowski, 6-of-12 passing for 123 yards. "Most teams are expecting us to run the ball, like, 90 percent of the time."

On the first play of the third quarter, Clark picked off Carter, which led to Gillen's 23-yard field goal.

Another defensive hold, and Randolph followed fullback Collin Walsh through linemen Mike Keller and Matt Binkowski, used a block by receiver Blake Butler and sprinted 76 yards for a 43-3 lead at 7:43 of the third quarter.

Naperville Central earned its first quarterfinal berth since 2006. The Redhawks will host No. 12 seed Homewood-Flossmoor, a 48-7 winner over Lockport.

"The stakes are high now," said Redhawks coach Mike Stine. "There's only eight of us left. We're all trying to get to be the state champion, and there's only eight of us left battling. It'll be a great night of football."