Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Central Football clinches DVC title with win over DeKalb

Junior+running+back+Aiden+Clark+breaks+a+tackle+on+his+way+into+the+endzone+for+his+first+touchdown+of+the+night+in+Centrals+42-0+home+win+over+Dekalb+on+Oct.+6.+
Jay Deegan
Junior running back Aiden Clark breaks a tackle on his way into the endzone for his first touchdown of the night in Central’s 42-0 home win over Dekalb on Oct. 6.

Naperville Central’s varsity football team clinched their first DuPage Valley Conference (DVC) title since 2018 with a 42-0 win over DeKalb on Oct. 6.

“[This DVC title] is hard earned,” head coach Mike Ulreich said. “Since December work has been put in for this season. I’m really proud of our group.”

After the win, Central’s record sits at 6-1, guaranteeing them a spot in the IHSA Playoffs.

Central pulled ahead early, taking a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

“In the last three weeks, it felt like — especially in the first half — that we didn’t finish drives and we left points up on the board,” Ulreich said. “It felt really good to be able to finish some drives and to be able to score like we did.”

Junior running back Aiden Clark ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter, including an 85-yard touchdown run with 1:45 left in the quarter.

“A lot of the focus is on me, but I’m really proud of our offensive line stepping it up in the last few weeks,” Clark said. “It’s really a great sight to see with the improvements since week one.”

Ulreich also attributed an improved running game to the offensive line.

“We have three new starters on the offensive line that all played defense last year, and sometimes it takes a little while for those guys to gel together,” Ulreich said. “It’s starting to gel. [Junior] Danny Conway [and seniors] Sean Fitzgerald and Liam O’Donnell are all really taking ownership of their job, and they’re playing really good football.”

Central quarterback Jack Cook, a senior, threw three touchdown passes in the game, and junior running back Jalen Isom ran for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

The Redhawks have two more games in their season before the IHSA playoffs: a home game against Metea Valley on Oct. 13, and one final DVC game on Oct. 20.

“It feels great to bring [the DVC title] home for the school,” Clark said. “This isn’t the peak of our season and we’ve got much bigger moments to come, but this is definitely a big milestone.”

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About the Contributors
Jake Pfeiffer
Jake Pfeiffer, Editor-in-Chief
Jake Pfeiffer is a senior, entering his third year on the Central Times staff, this time as Editor-in-Chief. Jake joined CT as a sophomore because he wanted to write news, but since then he has grown to love just about every element of journalism. While it is rare to see Jake anywhere other than the CT office, occasionally you can find him captaining Central’s debate team, watching baseball, listening to a seemingly endless amount of podcasts or drowning in college applications.
Jay Deegan
Jay Deegan, Print Managing Editor
Jay Deegan is a Junior at Central and happy to start his third year of journalistic adventures at the Central Times. Jay loves writing features and diving in-depth into issues that plague our community. In his free time Jay runs a freelance videography and photography business and loves to creatively express his interests in sports and filmmaking. If you’d like to join CT or have a tip, reach out!
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