AURORA – The Aurora Christian football team allowed 28 unanswered points to Bishop McNamara, and the Eagles couldn’t recover Friday night in a 34-28 home loss.
Fighting Irish junior running back Jonathan Ward had 33 carries for 128 yards with a touchdown in the game and was the catalyst for the Irish offense. Ward was able to soften up the Eagles defense and allow his quarterback Kobe Shutter to throw for 187 yards with a touchdown.
“It would not shock me if we see these guys again,” Aurora Christian coach Dave Beebe said of Bishop McNamara, a Chicago Catholic White Division rival. “I think we have started a great rivalry here and I would expect a lot of tight games with these guys.”
Shutter was 6 of 11 on the night with an interception. In addition to Ward rushing for a score, he also threw a 33-yard touchdown at the start of the second half to push the Irish’s lead to eight.
Aurora Christian (4-1, 1-1 Chicago Catholic League White) got off to an early lead with two Nick Van Gilse field goals in the first quarter.
In the second quarter Shutter connected on a 32-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Chris Bell to give Bishop McNamara a 7-6 lead that it never relinquished. The Eagles trailed by 22 points late in the third quarter before tightening the game late.
“I am so proud of this team,” Beebe said. “They’re not used to losing … and there is a lot of fight in this team.”
Despite the loss, Jacolby Maxwell had a huge game for Aurora Christian. He hauled in 12 catches for 174 yards with one of those being a 52 yard touchdown catch. Senior quarterback Austin Bray looked for Maxwell in nearly every situation.
Bray threw for 256 yard with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Irish cornerback Ariez Andrews was responsible for one of the interceptions and was charged with defending Maxwell.
Bishop McNamara (4-1, 3-0 Chicago Catholic League White) was able to seal the game with Ward’s 2-yard touchdown run with 1:43 left in the fourth quarter.