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Daily Herald's 2016 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/21/2016 11:38 PM

West Aurora completes perfect regular season

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

West Aurora was a participant in the first high school football game in state history in the fall of 1893.

But it took the Blackhawks seven decades to complete a feat last attained in 1946: the first undefeated and untied regular season.

After spotting Geneva a one-score lead on the opening possession of the teams' Upstate Eight Conference crossover in Aurora on Friday, the Blackhawks delivered a haymaker to the Vikings.

West Aurora scored on seven consecutive possessions to initiate a running clock in its eventual 49-7 victory.

Despite only 21 first-half plays from scrimmage, the Blackhawks scored six times to take an insurmountable 42-7 lead into halftime.

The Blackhawks' superstar senior twins, DaQuan and DaVion Cross, were personally responsible for 43 of their points.

DaQuan Cross, rushing only 6 times for 86 yards -- all in the first half -- scored 4 touchdowns on runs of 2, 6, 58 and 3 yards.

"We were playing for the guys next to us," said DaQuan Cross, who also was 7-for-7 on PAT kicks. "We just all came out ready to play."

"I'll tell you what: that No. 21 (DaQuan) is the real deal," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said.

DaQuan Cross, who had a game-high 120 yards on 11 carries and 178 total all-purpose yards, had a backbreaking 70-yard romp out of the Wildcat for the Blackhawks.

"My favorite play," he said. "It was a designed (keeper) the whole way. (This team) is so much different from in past years. We're not giving up. We have faith."

DaQuan Cross' 15-yard dash inside the left pylon commenced the running clock early in the third quarter.

But West Aurora coach Nate Eimer downplayed the Blackhawks' running authority -- 326 of its 418 rushing yards in the opening half -- to praise the defense.

In a four-possession Geneva sequence in the first half, the Blackhawks had three fourth-down stops and a Taylor Zimmerman interception.

"Our defense has been answering that call (on opposition fourth down tries) all season," Eimer said. "Those are huge. They are game-changers. The defense was unbelievable tonight."

Wicinski could not agree more.

"You can put a stamp on our season on (the fourth-down stops)," Wicinski said. "This game was a microcosm of our season."

Geneva (3-6) workhorse halfback Lance Arni capped a 9-play, 59-yard march to give Geneva first blood, but West Aurora (9-0) needed only 12 seconds for the equalizer.

Nicholas Catalano raced 80 yards untouched on the Blackhawks' first offensive play of the game.

JaQuan Buchanan, who combined with Catalano for 149 yards on only six touches, had a 46-yard burst to set up the first of DaQuan Cross' four scores to give West Aurora the lead for good.

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