Oswego hands West Aurora 1st loss
Jeremiah Cain, Dylan King, Brett Connolly Lucas Andersen and Ayden Villa each scored a touchdown and Oswego beat West Aurora, 35-13, in a Southwest Prairie Conference game at Ken Pickerill Stadium on Friday night.
"It was definitely a big win for us after going 4-0 and then losing that game (last week) to a good Plainfield North team," Connolly said. "We came out here today and took it to them. I'm glad we did that."
Connolly tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Cain with 2:07 left in the opening quarter to give the Panthers an easy 7-0 lead.
As pretty as a play that was, it was the strong rushing attack from Villa (13 carries, 145 yards) and Noah Vera (25 carries, 147 yards) that really allowed the Panthers to control the game.
Of course, it certainly helped having a defense that didn't allow a single first down in the first half and held the Blackhawks to just nine total yards during that time.
'We had a good week of practice and all rallied together," Oswego senior defensive lineman Taiden Thomas said. "It's a big credit to our look team. (West Aurora) has got a little tricky offense with their backs in different positions with counters and all that stuff. We just had a good plan and our defensive backs did their job and our defensive line held our ground and that's what we've been doing."
Oswego (5-1, 1-1) got an 18-yard touchdown run from King with 8:13 left in the second quarter to extend its lead to 14-0.
The Panthers were driving again later in the quarter but fumbled the ball only to get it right back when Cain intercepted a Mason Atkins third down pass. With fantastic field position on the West Aurora 18-yard line, the Panthers needed just three plays before Connolly took it in for the 1-yard touchdown with 1:19 left before halftime.
West Aurora (5-1, 1-1) was in dire need of a spark and got it by recovering an onside kick to open the third quarter.
Facing a fourth-and-two on the Oswego 33-yard line, running back Michael Williams blasted through the middle and broke free for a touchdown to pull West Aurora to 21-6.
Oswego wouldn't let the Blackhawks claw their way back though. The Panthers scored on their ensuing drive, getting a 3-yard touchdown run from Andersen with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
"I thought they had a great game plan," Blackhawks coach Nate Eimer said. "They stuck to their running game. They were patient and kept doing it and doing it. The better football team won tonight."
Williams and the Blackhawks kept fighting. The junior running back pulled them to within 28-13 with 1:43 left in the third quarter after his 2-yard touchdown run.
"I'm proud of the kids in the second half," Eimer said. "Last year, we came here one year removed and got whooped. I thought the kids fought, which is a step in the right direction. The next step is how can we get to (Oswego's) level. We got our fifth win and we need to get our sixth and in order to do that we have to play four quarters, not two."
Any hopes West Aurora had for a fourth-quarter rally dissipated over the course of Oswego's 10-plus minute drive that began late in the third quarter and culminated with Villa's 22-yard touchdown run with 3:12 remaining.
"It's nice having the two running backs and being able to keep them fresh," Connolly said. "We made some adjustments and coach talked about getting back to orange and blue football and that's what coach likes."