Elgin holds off East Aurora to become playoff eligible
The name is Bonds ... Xavier Bonds.
That name will always be associated with Elgin's 32-26 win over East Aurora Friday night to become playoff eligible for the first time in nine years.
The senior scored four of the Maroons' five touchdowns, intercepted two passes and forced a Tomcat fumble.
Bonds' most critical play came with 2:49 left to play in the game. East Aurora was on Elgin's 39-yard line and threatening to tie the game at 32-all. He intercepted an Orlando Garcia pass at the 26-yard line to end the threat and the drive.
"He wanted it. We told him at the beginning of the game, it was his (game). It was senior night and he was ready to go," said Elgin coach Anthony Mason. "He fought hard. He went out and showed everybody that he is an all-state player."
The game was still tense. Elgin was unable to mount a drive on the ensuing possession and punted from its 30-yard line. The Tomcats regained the ball with 1:14 left to play. On fourth down-and-inches to go, Garcia was stuffed.
Garcia had given the Maroons' defense fits all night. The senior QB rushed 29 times for 152 yards.
Elgin (5-4, 5-4) jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter both on passes from Jeffrey Lomax to Bonds (3 catches for 106 yards). Lomax completed 5 of 8 attempts for 138 yards.
East Aurora (4-5, 4-5) sandwiched two scores between two Elgin touchdowns in the second quarter to trail 26-12 at halftime.
After a 33-yard scoring pass from Lomax to Darien Jackson, Kimani Williams scored twice for the Tomcats on runs of five and 33 yards.
Bonds ended the first half scoring with a 5-yard run.
Bonds opened the third quarter by returning the opening kick off 98-yards. It was his 18th TD of the season, setting a new Elgin single season scoring record.
East Aurora answered with two scores of its own. The first was an 11-yard pass from Garcia to Sebastian Renteria. The second was a 1-yard plunge by Garcia.
Going into tonight's game, Elgin had 36 playoff points (total of opponents wins) and will pick up four more since all of its games were played against Upstate Eight Conference foes. Last year, teams with five wins needed 38 points to secure a playoff berth.