Crouch, D'Ambra lead Glenbard South past Aurora Central
Glenbard South seniors Jack Crouch and Nick D'Ambra have been playing football together ever since they can remember.
Rarely have they both played as well as they did Friday night.
Crouch rushed for 4 touchdowns and passed for another and D'Ambra led a defense that forced 3 turnovers as the host Raiders routed Aurora Central Catholic 47-8 in a Metro Suburban Conference crossover game in Glen Ellyn.
Crouch, a three-year starter who is one of the area's top dual-threat quarterbacks, scored on a 43-yard misdirection play on Glenbard South's first play from scrimmage. He finished with 107 yards rushing on 10 carries and also completed 6 of 9 passes for 88 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown pass to Ryan McConville.
"It's awesome (playing with Crouch)," D'Ambra said. "It's something special.
"We've played football together all our lives growing up and coming out here in our senior year and watching him perform and vice versa, it's something special."
The Raiders (1-2) were special from the start, building a 34-0 halftime lead. Crouch had a hand in all 5 touchdowns before halftime as he also scored on runs of 1, 1 and 8 yards.
But he was most proud of his first carry.
"This week we've been focusing on knowing our assignments up front on the line," Crouch said. "We've really been working on that play so we knew we wanted to come out with it, so hopefully it was going to be successful."
It was, much to the dismay of Aurora Central coach Luke Brauweiler.
"(Stopping Crouch) was one of our focuses this week," Brauweiler said. "We kept reminding the kids that we had to have our eyes on him all the time, but first play he busted one and obviously our eyes weren't where they were supposed to be.
"He's a heck of a player. We don't see (that skill) nearly as much."
The Chargers (1-2) didn't help themselves by giving the Raiders a short field on three of their first four possessions. Two plays after Crouch's first touchdown, John Madison recovered a fumble at the ACC 20, setting up the Raiders' second touchdown.
D'Ambra, who moved back to his accustomed inside linebacker spot from the defensive line, also recovered a fumble and Gavin Fitzpatrick had an interception for the Raiders.
"Getting that first touchdown by Jack was huge," D'Ambra said. "It gave the defense a little bit more confidence, like we could go out there and play a little more loose and not as tight as we usually play.
"Turnovers were a huge thing. We haven't had an interception all year, so we got a lot of turnovers today. I think we really clicked on all cylinders."
Indeed, the Raiders kept rolling behind an offensive line led by Brandon Erffmeyer and Jon Lavin.
Adam Haushahn scored on a 37-yard run early in the third quarter to trigger a running clock and McConville later added a 6-yard TD run.
"The film definitely lied to us," Brauweiler said. "They were definitely a little bit faster and bigger than we thought they were going to be.
"That doesn't excuse our lack of effort on either side of the ball tonight."
Ryan Cerza paced the Chargers, rushing 14 times for 72 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown.