AURORA – It’s fitting that Aurora Central Catholic firmly threw its hat into the 2012 playoff ring win with a resounding 55-0 pounding of Suburban Christian Gold conference foe Guerin.
ACC’s mistake-filled 18-15 loss to the Gators a year ago pretty much sealed yet another season without a playoff appearance. Fumbles, penalties and general poor play provided the nails to the Chargers’ 2011 coffin.
An offseason of hard work and memories of the 2011 meeting against Guerin provided more than enough motivation for the current ACC squad.
ACC coach Brian Casey played the video from last year’s contest in the weight room this week while a sign read “Never Again” above the door of the coaches’ office.
The blowout win completes a turn around for a program that went winless the season before Casey was hired. Three wins in his debut season and four a year ago set the stage for the breakthrough in 2012.
Casey was quick to credit his seniors for helping end the 15-year drought.
“When you have the seniors that we have now and the leadership we have now – we had a bunch of kids who weren’t happy with how it ended last year,” Casey said. “These kids have that taste in their mouth. When you have leadership and a great attitude, a lot can happen.”
Last season’s disappointment has turned into an ACC (6-1, 4-1 Suburban Christian Conference Gold Division) team that came into the game against Guerin (1-6, 0-5) averaging nearly 39 points per game on offense. The Chargers’ depth at running back allows them to throw multiple options at opposing defenses.
In a first half in which the Chargers racked up 299 rushing yards, Brian Bohr and Julian Rios each scored three rushing touchdowns as ACC led 49-0.
“It’s such an emotional thing to know that we turned this program around,” a choked up Steve Belovich said. “We knew they were going to be a chippy team. We had to come out, play physical right off the bat and play whistle to whistle. I felt like we did a great job tonight and the score reflected it.”
Belovich and fellow senior Izzy Rosa were 2 years old the last time ACC cracked the playoff field. For Rosa, being reminded of the loss to Guerin a year ago was more than enough motivation against a Gators’ team who had been shut out in its four previous contests.
“Every single day watching that video up there [of last years’ game against Guerin] it kept us going and today we finally proved it,” Rosa said. “It [making the playoffs] still hasn’t sunk in yet. First time going to playoffs in 15 years – it’s unreal, I can’t even describe it.”
Remaining games against Marmion and Montini may have made the game against Guerin a must-win for the Chargers. The Cadets are better than their record indicates and Montini again looks to be of championship ilk.
“Things are going well for us right now but there’s still a lot of football left to be played,” Casey said. “There was a little bit of closure tonight and it was nice to do it now. These seniors lived through it last year and I think that’s our biggest asset right now.”
The Chargers gained 366 yards rushing in the blowout even after running only 11 offensive plays in the second half due to a running clock. Rios led the Chargers’ running attack with 108 yards and three touchdowns.
AURORA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 55, GUERIN 0
Aurora Central Catholic 15 34 6 0 – 55
Guerin 0 0 0 0 – 0
HOW THEY SCORED
ACC – Rios 5 Run, Rahn 2 point run 5:11
ACC – Rahn 48 run (O’Donnell kick) 3:24
ACC – Bohr 3 run (O’Donnell kick), 10:43
ACC – Rios 16 run (kick failed), 8:31
ACC – Rios 23 run (O’Donnell kick) 5:34
ACC – Bohr 8 run (O’Donnell kick) 3:25
ACC – Bohr 35 run (O’Donnell kick) 0:54
ACC – Nelson 2 run (kick failed), 2:07
RUSHING – Aurora Central: Riedy 1-minus 7, Liz 1-3, Rios 9-108, Belovich 6-30, Bohr 10-95, Rahn 5-67, Wilson 1-3, Padilla 5-22, Nelson 4-41, Spagnola 1-minus 2, Schaefer 1-1. Totals: 44-366. Guerin: Cockrell 9-13, Doyle 2-0, Byrne 5-minus 49. Totals: 16-minus 36.
PASSING – Aurora Central: Riedy 0-5-0, Rahn 1-2-minus 6. Guerin: Byrne: 5-20-2-37.
RECEIVING – Aurora Central: Bohr 1- minus 6. Guerin: Jones 2-24, Coleman 2-2 Rangel 1-11
TOTAL YARDS – Aurora Central 360, Guerin 1