This is a special football season for West Aurora, and Friday night the Blackhawks just had too many special players for host West Chicago to handle.
Six Blackhawks players rushed for touchdowns as West Aurora beat the Wildcats 48-6 to improve to 7-0 on the year and clinch at least a share of the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division title. A win next week at Bartlett would give them the title outright and the first 8-0 start since the 1940s.
"It's pretty special," said Cionte Carter, who had 135 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 4 carries. "Me and my team have been working all summer, working hard for this. It feels really great to be able to compete for a conference title."
West Aurora jumped out to a 20-0 lead after DaVion Cross, Nicholas Catalano and DaQuan Cross recorded TD runs on the team's first three possessions. The Cross brothers combined to cover 96 yards on their early scores, while Catalano opened the night's scoring with a 16-yard run.
"It feels pretty good, but we've got to come out even stronger tomorrow to get ready for Bartlett," said DaQuan Cross, who gained 75 yards on just four runs and also handled the kicking duties and played well on defense. "It was really good. Our starters did well and so we just tried to get looks for some guys who don't normally have them in games."
Carter, who doesn't always get a lot of carries, took advantage of his opportunities at West Chicago (1-6, 1-3). He had scoring runs of 22 and 36 yards and capped off his night with a 65-yard run that set the stage for Trevon Tittle's 7-yard touchdown run that capped off the night's scoring.
"We have a pretty good backfield and we like to mix it up all the time," Carter said. "We can go small and we can go big. Either way we're running hard."
For the Wildcats, Devonte Pascal had 131 yards in the first half and finished the game with 138 yards on 21 carries, including a 9-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
"Devante does a great job. He's run as hard as he's ever run the last couple games," West Chicago coach Ted Monken said. "I can't say enough about the job he did for us tonight."
Monken also couldn't say enough about the deep, quick Blackhawks backfield.
"They have tremendous speed and they have guys who are backups that have tremendous speed," he said. "They've got a real nice group of kids. Last week they played Huntley and had touchdown runs of 85, 85 and 75 yards. When you have that type of speed you're just four plays away from four touchdowns. So once they get out in open space it's very difficult to get those guys down."
West Aurora coach Nate Eimer wants his kids to soak in all the excitement this fall. "We're doing some really cool things. I told the kids don't not talk about it. Embrace it. This is fun.
"We're playing some very special games coming up," Eimer said.
"We're not just gearing up for Week 10. Week 8 and Week 9 are very important for us. It should be a lot of fun next week. I know I'm pumped about it."