West Aurora drops 1st game in Southwest Prairie
Physical errors and mental mistakes were the undoing of the first West Aurora football foray into the Southwest Prairie Conference Friday night.
Plainfield South forced all 5 turnovers in the league crossover in Aurora as the Cougars had three unanswered scores to close out the night with a 34-14 victory.
In an extended second-quarter sequence that foreshadowed the ultimate outcome, West Aurora -- holding a one-score lead and possession of the ball after a fourth-down defensive stop -- suffered its second lost fumble.
The Blackhawks appeared to regain momentum, only to have a Plainfield South punt touch a West Aurora upback for another turnover.
A critical defensive pass-interference penalty was another setback, and Plainfield South quarterback Nicholas Schultz scored on a 16-yard run one play after the foul.
"We just made a mental mistake (on the punt)," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said. "We made too many mistakes. Our special teams have to get a lot better."
Tied 7-7 at the intermission, Plainfield South (1-0) never trailed again when Caesar Orosco found a seam on the second-half kickoff and raced 94 yards for the score.
"I had to pick up the team and make a statement," Orosco said.
But the Blackhawks immediately responded.
Three-year starting quarterback Will Tammaru converted two improbable fourth-down conversions, and the second resulted in Logan Mont hooking up with his fellow senior for a 25-yard touchdown.
Mont added his second extra point of the night for a 14-14 deadlock.
"On that fourth-and-11 (reception for the touchdown), Logan did it all," Tammaru said. "He made some unbelievable plays. He knows where I am at all times."
Tammaru finished 13-25 for 165 yards as Mont caught six of his completions for 84 yards.
Five different players would eventually score for the Cougars, however; Plainfield South needed only a half-dozen plays to retake the lead for good.
The Blackhawks then suffered back-to-back crushing turnovers that Plainfield South turned into the final points of the game.
The first turnover -- the fourth lost fumble of the game for West Aurora -- was particularly painful.
Coming on the first play of the fourth quarter, Mont had given West Aurora first down at the Cougars' 22-yard line by closing out the third with a 15-yard reception.
The Blackhawks' Isaac Medina had a first-touch season debut to remember. The senior running back raced for a 69-yard touchdown late in the first quarter.
"Our guys are great up front," said Medina, who led the Blackhawks with 83 yards on 4 carries. "They made a big hole. I don't even think I was touched."