It would have been easy for Aurora Christian to have a letdown this week against Chicago Academy, a team they crushed last year, a week after they defeated a rival and top-rated opponent in Stillman Valley and with the always daunting SCC schedule looming in the weeks ahead.
Junior safety Brandon Mayes made sure that didn't happen when he intercepted a pass on the first play of the game and returned it inside the Cougars' 30-yard line. Eagles quarterback Anthony Maddie took just three plays to convert the turnover into a score when he hit Corey Windle with a 16-yard pass in the corner of the end zone.
The Eagles had the lead and the game wasn't even one minute old.
"Every game we want to come out hot," said Mayes of his team's early defensive play. "I was just going through my reads and staying disciplined, that's the one thing that we did as a defense, we did a good job of staying disciplined."
The Eagles (2-0) stayed hot the entire game, blowing out Chicago Academy 48-0.
The Aurora Christian defense completely dominated the game. They allowed Chicago Academy just 15 total yards in the first half. The Cougars ran the ball 14 times in the first half 12 of those plays resulted in negative or zero yards gained.
"We weren't sure what we were going to have this year defensively, "said Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe. "I think we're finding out that we have as good as a linebacking corps as we have ever had. These guys are playing great football."
Anthony Maddie continued to play great football for the Eagles as well. Maddie completed 11 of 17 pass attempts and threw 6 touchdown passes to five different receivers in less than one half of playing time.
"I think Anthony is so zoned in right now to what we want on offense that he is really a coach on the field," said Beebe. "He is so poised and composed in his approach to the game and he is really playing well, really playing at a very high level. It's a pleasure as a coach to watch a kid like him go out and perform."
"Anthony Maddie he is just ridiculous," said Mayes. "He's a great quarterback but he's also a great leader in and out of the locker room. Everyone looks up to him. It's great to have a quarterback that everyone likes and respects."
In addition to the opening scoring pass to Windle, Maddie had TD passes of 17 yards to Ryan Suttle, 2 yards to Joshua Jungels, 31 yards to Mitch Holtz, 75 yards to Mayes and he capped off his performance with another TD toss to Windle, this time from 25 yards out.
"It was nice to be able to spread it out and that all those guys came in and were ready to go," said Maddie. "We just wanted to stay focused and use this game to get better and not take any steps backwards."
The Eagles' domination was so complete that at the end of the game, Maddie didn't even look like he had played in the game, not a speck of dirt or grass stain was to be found anywhere on him.
"I came out clean and that is always nice," said Maddie. "Our offensive line was unbelievable. No matter what they are throwing at us, I have confidence that our line will protect me."
The score was 41-0 at the half and the running clock was in effect for the entire second half during which Maddie sat and watched as the Eagles used several different backup running backs to run out the clock. The only score of the second half was a 1-yard run by Chris Klimpke with just over a minute remaining in the game.