Patrick Kunzerfirstname.lastname@example.org Playoffs - Round Two - Images from the Aurora Christian vs. Oregon football game Friday, November 4, 2011.
Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer
By the time he finishes the Class 3A state title game Friday, Anthony Maddie could end the year with 70 TDs.
Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer
The Aurora Christian seniors who take the field at Memorial Stadium at 4 p.m. Friday in the Class 3A state championship game against downstate Mt. Carmel were freshmen in 2008 when the Eagles lost the 4A state title game 37-28 to Bloomington Central Catholic.
The only other Eagles team to make it to state, the 2008 squad was a senior-dominated one led by record-setting quarterback Jordan Roberts, who threw 55 times in that loss, completing 27 for 365 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Mitch Holtz did catch a pass in that game. Now a senior, Holtz made his impact on the other side of the ball, leading the 12-1 Eagles in tackles before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the second round playoff win at Oregon.
There is one other Aurora Christian player with experience playing in Champaign. Quarterback Anthony Maddie was a sophomore at Joliet Catholic on their 2009 team that made it to the Class 5A title game before he transferred to Aurora Christian to play for the Eagles the past two years.
Maddie went 0-for-8 in a 29-28 loss to Montini. The Broncos scored the winning touchdown and 2-point conversion with just 32 seconds left. Maddie also was credited with 5 rushes for a net -8 yards, a total that included two sacks.
After throwing for 4 touchdowns and running for a fifth in Aurora Christian's 50-26 victory over Tolono Unity Saturday night, Maddie said the second time to state feels even better.
"As senior it is unbelievable to go through this and get to state," Maddie said. "It (the 2009 state game) definitely didn't mean as much to me as this does. Being a bigger part of the team helps. And it's about what we are playing for, and we have our saying 'For Him' and it makes these games so much sweeter."
Maddie's big night in the semifinals gives him an even 50 passing TDs and just over 3,700 passing yards this year. His rushing touchdown was his 14th and he's rushed for over 900 yards. With a typical game Friday by his standards he will finish his senior season with 5,000 yards of offense and 70 touchdowns before heading to play college football at Western Michigan.
Cory Windle caught one of those touchdown tosses Saturday to give him a team-high 18 scores.
"Anthony has worked so hard this offseason and probably his whole life," Windle said. "We were in the gym every day throwing routes."
Maddie's other three touchdown passes Saturday went to the two Roberts brothers, Grayson a senior and Noah a sophomore. Grayson took over for his brother Jordan as quarterback in 2009 before moving to wide receiver when Maddie transferred in last year. He now has 7 touchdown catches while Noah has added 5.
Perhaps the team's best receiver, junior Chad Beebe, left in the first quarter Saturday with another injury. Coach Don Beebe said his son might have reinjured his collarbone.
Maddie said preparing for a state championship game won't be anything different this week than what the Eagles have done all season, one whose only blemish came to another Suburban Christian Conference team also at state, Montini.
"Just going to take us doing what we have been doing, staying with the Huddle (online film study) and studying," Maddie said. "Coach Beebe gives us a great game plan."
Coach Beebe said he didn't know much about Mt. Carmel other than "they are big and pound the football." His players have another goal Friday for a city that has never won a state football championship.
"These kids want to be that first team in Aurora," Beebe said. "That is a big thing to these kids."