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The reminders of a longtime rivalry were inescapable Friday evening at West Aurora.
From the lack of premium parking 90 minutes before the kickoff to the long lines of fans attempting to buy tickets to the ink-stained faces of the schools' rabid students, the latest edition of the oldest football series in state history was on display.
But few things went right for East Aurora in its nonconference opener on the road.
The Tomcats fumbled on their third play from scrimmage, and West Aurora showed no mercy for remainder of the contest.
The Blackhawks scored on their opening nine possessions--needing less than 30 plays in the process--to rout East Aurora 59-19.
Quintez Jones and Cole Childs were virtually flawless for the Blackhawks.
The former, a junior quarterback, found the latter, a senior wideout four times in the game.
Childs scored touchdowns on all 4 catches.
Jones, who finished 6-for-6 for 131 yards, hit Jones in stride from 30 yards out on a fourth-and-seven play after putting the Blackhawks on the board with a 7-yard strike on the their opening possession.
"The (offensive) line gave me a lot of time," Jones said. "It was a credit to them. I was able to look off the safety and get the ball to Cole."
Childs' career night was complete with a 4-yard touchdown score midway through the second quarter and a catch and run of 62 yards in the second half as West Aurora (1-0) ran only 6 offensive plays in the near-continuously running clock of the second half.
The other force for the Blackhawks was Booker Ross.
The senior tailback slashed the Tomcats (0-1) for 182 yards on 12 carries; his most important of 3 rushing scores came two plays after East Aurora cut its deficit to 21-7 following an 8-play, 64-march capped by a 10-yard Desmond Gant touchdown reception from David Fonseco.
Taking a handoff out of shotgun formation, Ross broke a tackle and was never headed in romping for a 60-yard score.
"I just followed my line," Ross said. "We expect bigger things (offensively for the remainder of the year). (Jones) has really developed over the past year."
"(Ross) has to take the attitude that he's not going to go down with the first tackle (attempt)," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said.
Bryan Watkins converted all 8 of his extra-point attempts for West Aurora, and his 30-yard field goal as time expired in the opening half provided the Blackhawks with a 45-13 cushion at the break. After Childs' fourth touchdown reception on the opening play from scrimmage to start the second half, Dequan Booker burst 34 yards up the middle as Ross' replacement to set in motion the running clock.
Operating with a shot field as the result of 4 forced turnovers, including a pair of Charles House interceptions, the 120th meeting--their first football encounter in 1893 was the first interscholastic competition in state history--was decided early.
"I think that first fumble was huge," said East Aurora coach Kurt Becker, the former Bears offensive tackle who was making his debut for his alma mater. "It could have changed the dynamics of the game somewhat (had we scored). There was some good out there."
"East High is better," Eimer said.