De La Salle topples Aurora Christian
For one quarter, Aurora Christian battled Chicago De La Salle to a near tie, scoring on its opening drive and playing stout defense against one the of area's annually top ranked teams. But once the turnovers started to mount up, the Eagles were left watching the running clock until the final seconds revealed a 53-12 loss.
While turning the ball over is not a good recipe for success, AC head coach David Beebe realizes that it's magnified against tougher opponents.
"When you play a team like Chicago De La Salle you can't turn the ball over eight times, that's just what it comes down to," Beebe said. "These kids are resilient. They have a lot of heart and they've been through a lot. Losing (Drew) Clippert is tough, but I give Josh (Beetham) a lot of credit. He's a tough kid."
The Eagles' final score came on an 80-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Josh Beetham to senior Ryan Burke with less than seven minutes left in the game. Beetham was replacing injured starter Drew Clippert. Burke wanted to make sure he showed his teammates that quitting is not an option, regardless of the score.
"I just want to go out there and lead by example," Burke said. "I want to show these guys that you never quit and you fight until the very end. If you keep trying, that one point on the scoreboard, it may not help us this game, but maybe it will help us the next. I think we just lost our confidence early, but we're going to learn from this. We're going to watch this film, find our mistakes, and learn from them."
"Ryan Burke plays with a big heart," Beebe said. "He's not alone, which is the funny thing. We've got a lot of kids like that, but for whatever reason, things just haven't gone our way. But then again, I credit the teams we're playing."
The Eagles scored first on a 3-yard touchdown pass by Clippert to Devan Cross on their opening drive for a quick 6-0 lead.
However, after that, it was all Meteors. After forcing the Eagles to punt from their own 16-yard line, a short punt gave the Meteors the ball right back on the Eagle 15-yard line. Four plays later, junior quarterback Dorian Woods ran it in from 3 yards out to put the Meteors up 7-6.
Midway through the second quarter, Woods and the Meteors (4-0, 0-0) struck again after intercepting an Eagle's (2-2, 0-0) pass. Woods hit a leaping Ryan James for a 23-yard strike for a 14-6 lead. Less than a minute later, it was 21-6 when Devin Michicich scored from 1 yard out after the Eagles' third interception of the night gave them starting field position on their 19-yard line.
Michicich ran it in again just before halftime to give the Meteors a commanding 28-6 lead at halftime.
The Meteors scored 4 more touchdowns in the second half, the last coming on a 101-yard interception return.
Beebe hopes to keep his players' confidence high, despite the lopsided loss.
"What is very critical, and I hope all of these kids understand, is that we cannot brand ourselves the way these games (last two) have played out," Beebe said. "It's very important that we reassess who we are. Because I don't think we've ever come close to playing the way I think we are. We have flashes of brilliance, and we have to give other teams credit, but we can't make any excuses and have to play through it. We've got to win the next four out of five. That's really what it comes down to."