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Aurora Central Catholic drew first blood in its Illinois High School Association Class 3A game against St. Joseph-Ogden.
Not only did the SJO Spartans stop the bleeding very quickly, they went to work just as quick and won a 42-23 first-round decision. They improve to 9-1 and move to the second round. Aurora Central end its season at 6-4.
The Spartans scored on their final possession of the first quarter and their first possession of the second quarter to take the lead for good. They then burned more than four mintues of the clock in scoring their third touchdown of the first half. They entered the locker room with a 21-3 lead.
“I knew they were going to be a handful for us,” St. Joseph-Ogden coach Dick Duval. “I knew they would be tough for two reasons, first; their size. When I watched the film, it was noticeable how much bigger they were than us. Secondly, that league (Suburban Christian Gold) they play in. It is so tough. When they drove down the field right away and scored on a field goal, I thought “here we go.”
Aurora Central would score three touchdowns in the contest, but their first three points came when Michael O’Donnell kicked a 34-yard field goal in the first five minutes of play to give ACC a 3-0 lead.
But, before the end of the first quarter, St. Joseph-Ogden took the lead for good. By stripping the ball from Aurora Central on a third-and-15 play, the Spartans only needed one play to score. Dalton Walsh hit Louis Acklin with a 20-yard pass with 29 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Chargers entered the second half with renewed vigor. Walsh was intercepted by Jordan Hendricks to set up a short field situation for the Chargers. Steven Amoni and Brian Bohr each rushed for 21 yards back-to-back to set up a two-yard touchdown scamper by Matt Schaefer.
“It is going to be tough to beat a team like St. Joe-Ogden when you turn the ball over twice in the first half,” said Brian Casey, ACC’s head coach. “On the first two drives of the game, we executed well. As a team and as a program, this was a huge step forward for us. Our quarterback (Schaefer) has started against Montini and SJO. He played well. That is quite a bit of pressure and he did well.”
The Chargers scored their other two touchdowns on big plays. Amoni ended his Charger career by dashing 80 yards in the final minute of the contest. The 5-11, 200-pound running back shook some blocks and emerged being pursued by not only the opposition, but his teammates as well.
Schaefer hit Jake McCarthy with a 49-yard pass for ACC’s other touchdown. McCarthy dashed down the left sideline all alone, entering the endzone with 7:46 to play in the contest.