Round 1: Le-Win vs Aurora Christian
In a rematch of last year's Class 1A quarterfinal game that Le-Win won 57-14, this year Le-Win was matched up with the Eagles in the first round in Lena. Coming out of the Metro Suburban Blue conference with perennial powers Immaculate Conception, Bishop McNamara, and St. Francis, it can be hard to get a gauge on what Aurora Christian can do, especially considering they had a close game with Bishop McNamara who was the reigning Class 4A runner-up.
It would not take long for Le-Win to strike, as they forced the Eagles to go 3 and out just 1:44 into the game. Just 14 seconds later Sean Ormiston broke loose for a 42 yard touchdown. After the two point try was good, Le-Win held an 8-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, the Eagles would get close to midfield before being turned away at their own 40 yard line. Starting at their own 24 yard line, the Panthers went back to the ground game. A few plays later and it was Ormiston going in for the score again, this time from 48 yards out. The two point try failed, but Le-Win had a 14-0 lead with 4:22 to go in the 1st quarter.
Forcing another punt on the next drive, this time Le-Win would start their drive at the Aurora Christian 40 yard line. An off tackle run by Isaiah Bruce was bounced outside, looking hemmed against the sideline, Bruce was able to stiff arm one defender, while shrugging off another as he tiptoed the sideline for a 40 yard touchdown run. A two point conversion attempt from the 13 yard line was successful as Bruce took a screen pass to the left and scored up the left hash to give Le-Win a 22-0 lead with 3:02 to go in the 1st quarter.
On their 4th series of the game, the Eagles couldn't get anything going and were forced to punt. A 7 yard punt allowed Le-Win to take over at the Eagle 22 yard line. Lined up in formation, Coach Arand was looking for a timeout late in the play sequence as Luke Benson took the snap, gave it to Ormiston as he plowed away for a 13 yard run despite the attempts for the timeout call. Ormiston would punch it in from the 9 yard line and give Le-Win a 30-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the 2nd quarter, the Le-Win defense continued to control the Eagle offense, as another forced punt allowed Le-Win some room to work with against the wind, starting from their own 24 yard line. It didn't take long for Le-Win to keep chewing up yards, as just over 3 minutes later Bruce collected his 2nd touchdown run of the game from 8 yards out as the Panthers went up 38-0 with 6:51 left before the half.
Aurora Christian would finally get something going, as quarterback Ethan Hampton hit Danny New for a 45 yard gain to put the Eagles in Le-Win territory for the first time all day, but it wouldn't last long, as the Eagles moved to the Panther 17 yard line, but a Hampton pass was intercepted by Ormiston.
With 5:11 left in the half, Le-Win began to move the ball some more, but this time they battled some internal issues with penalties, which kept taking away good plays and setting them back. They were finally able to get things corrected, and as time was winding down the half, Le-Win found themselves knocking inside the redzone. Having been beat down all day, the Eagles bit on the run, but Marey Roby was left wide open on the left seam as Benson connected with him for a 15 yard touchdown pass. The two point try was good, and Le-Win had a 46-0 lead with 8 seconds left that they would take into halftime.
With the clock rolling to begin the 2nd half of the game and the subs in for the Panthers, Aurora Christian would get on the board when Hampton connected with New for a 68 yard gain down to the 1 yard line, and then Hampton threw a 1 yard touchdown pass to Anthony Clevenger for the score. The two point try was good as Le-Win held a 46-8 lead with 4:20 to go in the 3rd quarter, but it was lead that would stand as the final score.
Le-Win rushed for 323 yards in the 1st half while holding Aurora Christian to 101 yards of total offense in the 1st half. The Panthers would finish the day with 420 yards rushing. Le-Win was led by Sean Ormiston, who had 15 attempts for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns. Isaiah Bruce added another 6 attempts for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Marey Roby pitched in 47 yards rushing and 15 yards receiving with 1 touchdown.
For Aurora Christian, they finished the day with 236 yards of offense, as they had 242 yards passing and -6 yards rushing. Ethan Hampton was 15-28 passing for 242 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Danny New hauled in 8 passes for 206 yards to lead the receiving corp.
With the win, Le-Win (10-0) will travel to Orangeville (7-3) to take on the Broncos in the 2nd round of the playoffs.
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