Aurora Christian settled any debate about competing against the heavies in the Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division.
In an effort coach Don Beebe nearly equated with the Eagles' 2008 state quarterfinal win over Driscoll, on Friday the Eagles beat St. Francis 41-14 in Aurora.
"This is one of the signature wins in Aurora Christian football history," Beebe said. "That's a 5A powerhouse we just beat. And we didn't just beat them haphazardly, we beat them. And we beat them at the line of scrimmage, we beat them up physically. It's just what it was, on both sides of the ball."
Without his son Chad, a Northern Illinois-bound receiver who broke his left arm last week against Wheaton Academy, shotgun-spread Aurora Christian (5-0, 4-0) went to the ground.
Joel Bouagnon, the 6-foot-2, 224-pound Burlington Central transfer whose 2011 season was ended by St. Francis in the 5A playoffs, ran 17 times for 208 yards and touchdown runs of 21 and 34 yards. He also scooped a bouncing football off a loose St. Francis lateral and ran it 1 yard for another score.
"Nothing's better than a turnover on defense, and for a touchdown, too," Bouagnon said. "That's just double dosage. That just shuts them down and boosts us up."
Plays like that killed St. Francis (3-2, 1-2). For a second straight week the Spartans started strong, quarterback Michael Robinson capping a quick first possession with a 49-yard touchdown strike to Andrew Brundage, who finished with 6 receptions for 109 yards.
Over the last 4:16 of the first quarter Aurora Christian scored 21 points and never looked back. The Eagles capitalized on short fields courtesy of a 7-yard St. Francis punt, Brandon Mayes' blocked punt -- he then scored on a 29-yard pass from Ryan McQuade -- and Bouagnon's scoop-and-score.
"I've just got to give all the credit in the world to them," said St. Francis coach Greg Purnell. "They just really played good football."
McQuade tossed a 36-yarder to Noah Roberts for a 28-6 halftime lead, then Bouagnon assumed control. The Northern Illinois recruit ran for 133 second-half yards in his first 200-yard game since Week 9 last year.
"I was running that rock finally," he said.
"We just blocked our guys, we got on them pretty good and he did the rest. He's a train," said Eagles offensive guard Nathan Wells, who joined Tristan Withrow, Erik Motisi, Josh Kok and Jacob Galbato at the point of attack.
M.J. Zepeda made it 41-6 with a 16-yard interception return for touchdown. St. Francis' Colin Doyle ran 26 yards for a late score.
"This one was gratifying in a way that we just took it to them, and that was fun to watch," Beebe said. "You guys know me, I love to throw the ball, right? But I also like to watch running backs like Joel and Brandon, because that was fun to watch. And a great defense."