West Aurora clinches 4th straight playoff berth
When it comes to making the football playoffs the new norm for West Aurora is no longer a question of if but just a matter of when.
This season the when came sooner rather than later. In just the seventh week of the season the Blackhawks (6-1, 6-1) secured their 4th straight playoff berth with a 45-0 win at Elgin in Upstate Eight Conference action.
"It never will get old to me," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "There was a time not to long ago where we were at the bottom struggling, but we have built up the program to where this is what is expected. I am extremely proud of my players and my coaching staff. This is a great thing for the school and the community."
West Aurora took care of business right from the start. Quarterback William Tammaru threw touchdown passes on the Blackhawks' first 2 offensive plays from scrimmage. The first one was a 28-yard toss to Moshe Rogers and was set up by an interception by Zach Jacobsen.
When the Blackhawks got the ball back Tammaru connected with JaQuan Buchanan on a 53-yard scoring strike on the first play.
"The word of the week for us was focus," Tammaru said. "We came right out and got what needed to get done. I can't make those throws without my offensive line giving me time and great work by my receivers to get open. The credit totally goes to them. Those plays weren't originally designed to go that way but when I saw them in man coverage I had all the trust in the world my receivers would make a play and it all worked out."
Tammaru completed 5 of 9 passes for 157 yards.
The Blackhawks continued to tack on points and led 28-0 after one quarter and 38-0 at halftime.
Buchannan scored a second touchdown late in the first half on a 34-yard run. He had 68 yards on 5 carries to lead a group of 9 running backs that racked up a total of 226 yards on the ground for the Blackhawks. Buchanan was also the Blackhawks' leading receiver with 3 receptions for 123 yards.
"We always talk about executing," Eimer said. "And tonight I was really pleased with the way we executed. Will did a great job of recognizing the coverage on the two touchdowns passes and the whole running game was very good."
Trevon Tittle rushed for 56 yards on 6 carries, including a pair of 5-yard touchdown runs. The second one came on the first possession of the second half to put the Blackhawks up 45-0 and gave them a running clock the rest of the way. Bryson Puckett added a 3-yard touchdown run in the first half.
The Blackhawks defense yielded just 123 total yards and forced 5 turnovers. Rodney Jones and Jylen Spivey had interceptions along with Jacobsen.
The Maroons fell to 2-5 on the season. Xavier Bonds caught 7 passes for 88 yards.
"I think we saw tonight how far we have to go to get to where a team like West Aurora is at," Elgin coach Anthony Mason said. "That's a team that fights and competes every play. We need to develop that kind of grit. It's also just an aspect of needing to continue to learn."