York throttles Hinsdale Central to stay unbeaten

A year ago, York's goal of a conference championship was derailed by a stunning Hinsdale Central comeback.

On Friday night, the Dukes made that heartbreak a distant memory.

With Matt Vezza throwing a pair of touchdowns and Jake Melion running for two more, the visiting Dukes beat the Red Devils 31-7.

Staying unbeaten on the season, York (7-0, 5-0) also clinched a share of its first West Suburban Silver title since 2010.

"It feels great," Vezza said. "It's a sense of revenge, mainly because of what happened last year (a 27-23 loss where Hinsdale Central came back from 16 down in the fourth quarter). We were in a prime position to win that game, but we made mistakes.

"What I like about this team, we are making some mistakes, but we are still finding ways to win. We are rallying behind each other. We still have lots to work on, but we are playing great and winning games."

The senior QB connected with Anthony Mancini for a 32-yard touchdown to begin the scoring late in the first quarter. Vezza also found Luke Mailander for a 38-yard score in the fourth and finished 11-of-23 through the air for 248 yards.

"I think this year, our conference is even a little better than the past couple years," Vezza said. "So what we are doing is pretty impressive. Coach Fitz (York coach Mike Fitzgerald) is doing a great job. This is his fifth year and he came in after a 1-8 season. Now we have a chance to go 9-0 and we just won a share of the (conference) title. It's incredible what he and the coaching staff have done and the entire team as well."

Melion found the end zone on runs of 1 and 11-yards while Damian Glodz kicked a 26-yard field goal. Melion rushed for 72 yards on 19 carries.

That offensive output was more than enough for a Dukes' defense that has yielded just 58 points on the season. Ashton Nawrocki and Jack Trautmann each had sacks and Matt Sutter notched an interception.

"We have great chemistry," senior linebacker Evan Grazzini said about the defense. "We are playing for each other. We put a lot of faith in our coaches and they are dialing up the right plays when we need them. It's all coming together. There is no better feeling than when everyone is playing well.

"We had this game marked on the calendar for a very long time. That loss last year left a sour taste in our mouths. We really wanted this one and we put a lot of preparation into it."

York wraps up the regular season with matchups against Willowbrook and Oak Park-River Forest. A lot is still left on the line, including the program's first outright title since 2006 and a high seed in the playoffs.

"Our kids have worked extremely hard," Fitzgerald said. "It's pretty amazing how much they have put in for nine guaranteed opportunities. I'm really proud to see their hard work rewarded.

"This is a real selfless group that has stuck together. To see them hit a goal like this is huge and definitely something we've been striving towards."

The two-time defending Silver champ Red Devils (3-4, 1-3) are still dealing with injuries. Carter Contreras took over under center and threw a 26-yard touchdown to Kelan McInerney to cut into a 17-0 halftime deficit. Contreras threw for 78 yards and ran for 43 more. Gavin Vande Lune also contributed an interception.

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