Downers Grove South bows to Naperville Central in playoffs

NAPERVILLE – One stat sums up Friday night's Class 8A playoff football game between Downers Grove South and Naperville Central.

South's offense struggled all night and didn't make it into Central territory until late in the third quarter of a 36-0 loss. The Mustangs, making their first playoff appearance since 2011, finished the season with a 6-4 record.

The Mustangs went three-and-out on their first series; Central (7-3) scored a field goal on its ensuing drive. The Redhawks scored a touchdown late in the first quarter for a 10-0 lead that stood until halftime.

Central piled on in the second half, at one point scoring touchdowns on four of five possessions.

Javon Turner ran 29 yards on a fake punt late in the third quarter to extend a South drive. Max Soderlund caught a 12-yard pass from Jordan Skach on the next play, but the drive petered out on a failed fourth down conversion early in the fourth quarter.

The disappointing loss capped an otherwise successful season for the Mustangs. In addition to making the playoffs, they went 6-0 in the West Suburban Gold to win their first conference title since 2010.