Round 1: Le-Win vs Aurora Christian
Lena-Winslow cruises against Aurora Christian for 3rd consecutive year in 54-7 win
Lena - For the 3rd consecutive season the Lena-Winslow Panthers have met up with the Aurora Christian Eagles in the playoffs. And for the 3rd consecutive year the Panthers have put up a running clock as they scored early and often in a 54-7 win to send them to the 2nd round of the Class 1A playoffs.
On the very first play of the game Brody Mahon would recover an Eagles fumble at the Eagles 41 yard line. On the very next play Marey Roby took a handoff to his right and raced up the right sidelines before cutting back towards the middle as he was off to the races. He would add the 2 point conversion to give Le-Win an 8-0 lead just 18 seconds into the game.
The Panther defense would quickly force a punt and get the ball back for the 2nd time within the first 50 seconds of the game.
The 2nd series for the Panthers would start at their own 28 yard line. Ethan Fye would pick up a 37 yard run that would put the Panthers back in Eagles territory. Roby would pick up 10 yards and Jake Zeal would rush for 11 yards before Roby would pick up his 2nd TD run of the day from 13 yards out. Zeal would add the 2 point conversion as Le-Win had a 16-0 lead with 9:24 still to play in the 1st quarter.
The Eagles would put up their best drive of the 1st half as they started their 3rd series from their own 32 yard line. Cameron Ajazi would pick up a 23 yard run to move Aurora Christian into Le-Win territory, but the drive would stall at the Panther 40 yard on a turnover on downs.
The Panthers would have their only slip up of the game, as they were able to drive down to the Eagles 20 yard line, but couldn't quite get enough yards to recover from a holding penalty. Going for it on 4th down, Luke Benson found Mahon in the back of the end zone, but the pass just sailed out of his reach as they turned the ball over on downs.
Not to worry, as Aurora Christian went back to the air Jake Zeal picked off a Max Bray pass and returned it to midfield. Two plays later and Roby was off again as he took the handoff to his left off tackle and found a crease to race down the left sideline for his 3rd TD of the game. The 2 point try failed, but Le-Win had a 22-0 lead with 11:48 to play in the 2nd quarter.
The ensuing Aurora Christian drive would see them cross the 50, but were put into a punting situation. Bray took the snap on the fake punt, but found nobody open down field before he was brought down at the Panther 37 yard line and turned the ball over on downs with 9:23 to play before halftime.
Ethan Fye would break off a 36 yard run to quickly get Lena-Winslow back into Eagles territory, and just a few plays later it was Fye covering the final 19 yards for the score. Roby would add the 2 point conversion to extend the Panther lead to 30-0 with 8:09 to play in the 2nd quarter.
Aurora Christian would go back to the air and get to the Panther 36 yard line before Bray's pass was tipped and intercepted by Zach White, who return the interception 61 yards before being pulled down at the Aurora Christian 14 yard line. Just 2 plays later Brady Eilders would get handoff up the middle and go 10 yards for the score. Gage Dunker added the 2 point conversion as Le-Win had a 38-0 lead with 6:41 still to play in the 2nd quarter.
The Eagles would begin their 7th series a their own 35 yard line, but 2 minutes later a pass from Bray to Trey Beebe was intercepted by Zeal for his second pick of the day. The Panthers would quickly turn the field on a Roby 57 yard run off tackle down the right sideline before he was pushed out of bounds. A few plays later saw Luke Benson keep the ball for a 2 yard score. Fye would add the 2 point conversion as Le-Win was up 46-0 with 3:33 to play in the first half.
The very next drive saw Aurora Christian trying to do anything to stay alive, but Brody Mahon would pick off Bray and return the interception 60 yards for the score. Zeal would add the 2 point conversion as Le-Win took the 54-0 lead into halftime, which would put the running clock into effect to start the 2nd half.
Aurora Christian would finally get on the board with 1.9 seconds left in the game as Cameron Ajazi would run the ball from 4 yards out for the score. The PAT kick was good to bring the final score to 54-7 for the Panthers.
Lena-Winslow will advance to play conference rival Forreston for their 4th meeting in the playoffs over the past 5 playoff seasons.
Aurora Christian ends their season at 6-4.
Leading the day for the Panthers was Marey Roby, who rushed for 169 yards and 3 TD's. Ethan Fye added 105 yards rushing and a TD. Brady Eilders and Luke Benson both picked up TD's on the day. Brody Mahon had a fumble recovery and an INT return for a TD, while Jake Zeal picked up 2 INT's on the day.
For Aurora Christian, Max Bray was 13-33 for 135 yards with 4 INT's. Cameron Ajazi picked up 88 yards rushing with 1 TD. Trey Beebe led all receivers with 62 yards.