West Aurora senior Spencer Thomas was at the right place at the right time on Friday night in Aurora.
Perhaps he was being a bit too modest.
Thomas returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half and scooped up a fumble for a touchdown in the second half as West Aurora took advantage of six West Chicago turnovers, snapping a six-game losing streak with a 35-9 victory.
"Everyday in practice coach kept telling to me to get in the flats and it worked out perfect on the interception," Thomas said. "On the fumble, I was in the right place at the right time again. I saw the ball loose, knew it was my last home game and picked it up and went out with a bang."
West Aurora (2-6, 1-5) ended up needing the boost from its defense as it was shut out offensively in second half.
West Chicago (0-8, 0-6) took a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 24-yard Danny Amaro field goal, but the Blackhawks responded with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Quintez Jones (12-of-22 passing, 189 yards) to Cole Childs (7 catches, 143 yards).
"That was a great start and a great pass and I just wish we could've kept it going the rest of the night," West Auroach coach Nate Eimer said. "But we'll take it."
After Thomas' interception return made it 14-3, the Blackhawks took advantage of one of West Chicago's eight penalties. Facing a fourth-down-and-5 on the 10-yard line, and ready to attempt a field goal, the Wildcats committed encroachment. Then, the Blackhawks opted to go for the first down and Jones took it in for a 6-yard score.
West Chicago converted 16 first downs and received a huge night from Miguel Flores (25 carries, 237 yards) but only found the end zone on a Jordan Lelito 16-yard pass to Dean Pauley (9 catches, 67 yards) in the final minute of the first half.
Matt Williams had the third defensive touchdown for the Blackhawks, returning an interception 22 yards with 10:55 left in the fourth quarter.
Just how bad did the turnovers get for the Wildcats? Flores broke through the West Aurora defense for a 74-yard run late in the fourth quarter but had the ball knocked away from him and recovered by Nate Cavada.
"We moved the ball great but we turned it over or didn't score points," West Chicago coach Bill Bicker said. "It doesn't matter how far you move the ball if you don't get in the end zone."
One thing Bicker was pleased with was the performance of Flores.
"He's had a great second half of the season," he said. "We benched him at the beginning of the year and all he's done is worked harder. He's done a great job for us."