South Elgin Storm senior halfback Jeff Broger showed no signs of discomfort with his hamstring in the Storm's lopsided 41-6 Upstate Eight Valley victory over the East Aurora Tomcats Friday evening.
Broger galloped for 3 touchdowns over the Tomcats (0-4, 0-2), which was more than enough to break the Storm (2-2, 1-1) from their two-game slide. Two of Broger's touchdowns were from over 20 yards out, while only registering 7 carries for the night.
"I felt great; definitely more explosive," Broger said. "I've just been rehabbing and getting back together with the guys all week."
On the Storm's first drive, South Elgin took its time taking off over six minutes off the clock on a 57-yard scoring drive. Broger (7 carries, 101 yards, 3 TDs) had nothing but compliments for the offensive line as he scampered for big gains all night.
"The line has been really good," Broger said. "We've had to have some guys switch spots. Nick Culver and 'Kermen' have really stepped up when they needed to and gave me running room."
The perennial Storm scoring party didn't end with Broger. South Elgin junior quarterback Robert Cuda made very few mistakes. South Elgin began to open up the passing game after Broger and Cuda opened up the run.
Cuda (7-for-11, 89 yards, 2 TDs) opened up the offense spreading the ball around evenly to his receivers. He passed to every wideout on the roster at least once.
"Everyone has to respect every opponent," Cuda said. "Getting Jeff back was a benefit for us getting back into our game. We just have to stay confident and have a good week of practice. Stay confident and don't let any distractions get in the way."
With the offense came the defense. In the first half, the South Elgin defensive unit didn't allow East Aurora to get past the 50-yard line into Storm territory. South Elgin allowed a total of 34 yards in the first half, and forced 4 turnovers which resulted in 34 points.
"We had a tough three first opponents (in Neuqua Valley, Benet and Downers Grove South)," said South Elgin coach Dale Schabert. "The defense prepared well. Some of our guys run both ways for us, but I think it's a plus for us."
East Aurora just couldn't keep up with the three phases of the Storm.
The Tomcats pieced together a drive after sophomore quarterback David Fonseca connected with junior Desmond Grant for a 73-yard touchdown pass and catch. However East Aurora would not be able to muster up any late-game scores.
"Victories come in different shapes and forms; it doesn't matter the score right now," said East Aurora coach and former Chicago Bear Kurt Becker. "The kids are doing the small things that add up. We're getting better. I tell the kids every game: Don't quit on yourself. This won't be a lesson just in football, but it's a lesson in life."