Aurora Central Catholic coach Brian Casey called his team's first Friday night game of the year against Chicago Christian a trap game, and it didn't take long for the Chargers to get caught off-guard.
Knights quarterback Christian Bolhuis broke free down the left sideline for a 67-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the game, and the Chargers quickly found themselves in a 6-0 hole against a team they beat by 40 points last year.
Chicago Christian made a game of it Friday in Aurora, holding that lead for a quarter and trailing by just a point at halftime. But ACC junior Hunter Fiorito raced 57 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half, and the Chargers defense didn't bend again after the Knights' first drive.
Four different Chargers scored touchdowns in a 28-6 Suburban Christian Conference Gold victory that keeps Aurora Central Catholic (3-1, 1-1) on down for its conference and playoff aspirations.
"The first half we beat ourselves," said Chargers senior running back Julian Rios. "We started to execute our plays that we've practiced and trusted the offensive line and trusted the holes."
The fleet-footed Rios entered the game averaging 6 yards a carry and pushed that number higher with his 145 yards on just 9 attempts. That doesn't count his 44- and 32-yard carries brought back by penalties or his team-high 35 yards receiving.
Running behind Alec Licar, Tony Hizo, Eddie Gonzalez, Michael Shanahan and Mikey Malawski -- all seniors except the junior Malawski -- Rios gave the Chargers the lead for good on a 2-yard run with 7:55 left in the second quarter. Enrique Anaya followed with the first of his four perfect extra points.
"They do a nice job with the wing-T," Knights coach Jim Bolhuis said. "We worked all week on it. Our kids start getting a lot of success on defense and then boom, the counter comes and we're running left and they are running right. We have to fix that."
Fiorito's touchdown run to open the third quarter started a 21-0 second half for the Chargers as Chicago Christian (1-3, 0-2) struggled to keep drives going. Taking away their 67-yard touchdown, the Knights totaled 158 yards on 59 plays -- a 2.6 average.
"It was mostly just a mental mistake that I think we rebounded well from," said ACC linebacker Cody Ekstrom who along with Malawski had a sack. "The rest of the way we definitely picked it up. We had a good talk at halftime in the barn and came out and played one of the best second halves I've seen since I've been here."
Seniors Brian Bohr and Matt Schaefer (5 of 13 passing, 73 yards) both scored touchdowns to cap the scoring. The Chargers host St. Edward next Friday.
"We kind of refocused and just played better," Casey said of the second half. "It was kind of the lull if you will between two big games. We have a big one next week and we'll see where we stand."