Week 5: Aquin vs West Central
The Bulldogs welcomed alumni back for homecoming, while shutting out the West Central Heat 42-0
Freeport - This was a game that was circled on the calendar the minute the schedules had dropped for the season, and why not. West Central was 6-0 in the spring season and returning a lot of that team this fall. Aquin was 6-0 in the spring season in 11-man, finishing #1 in both the AP and Coaches Polls, and making the drop to 8-man football.
Going to Conley Field for Aquin's Homecoming always has an exciting feeling to it, as it does at most schools, but getting that fall feeling for the first time this season on a sunny Saturday afternoon gave it that playoff feel. The only thing missing were four starters still out for various injuries for the West Central Heat.
The Bulldogs would catch a break on the first snap of the game as the Heat started with the ball. The ball was snapped over the head of backup QB Devin Shaw that would result in a 23 yard loss. The Heat were able to get 25 yards back, but were forced to punt on 4th and 8.
Aquin would start their first drive at their own 45 yard line. They would go to the air early as Aiden Wolfe connected with Ollie Arndt on consecutive plays. They would add a couple of rushing attempts with Evan Broge and Clay Luedeking. At the 7:32 mark of the 1st quarter Broge would get the give for a 16 yard TD run. The 2 point try was successful and Aquin jumped into an 8-0 lead.
The Bulldog defense would get another tough start, as the Heat would start their second drive from their own 46 yard line. They would move the ball to the Bulldog 46 yard line before the defense would turn them away with a turnover on downs.
The Bulldogs would benefit from a 30 yard run by Arndt, a pass to Arndt and Drew Ege, and a pass interference call. The drive would be capped off as Broge ran the ball for the final 4 yards and his second score of the game with 6:04 remaining in the 1st quarter. After the 2 point try was good, Aquin was up 16-0.
On their 3rd possession of the game the Heat would start the drive from their own 24 yard line. The would gain 8 yards, but setting up for a 4th and 2 at their own 32 yard line they were forced to punt.
Aquin would set up the drive from their own 31 yard line and continue to drive the ball down the field, set up by a 20 yard run by Luedeking. It would end up leading to a third consecutive score by Broge, as he took the handoff and ran off right tackle, cut up the field and avoided stepping out of bounds by less than a foot to avoid a Heat defender and raced 46 yards for the score. Broge would add the extra point kick as Aquin went up 23-0 with 3:27 left in the 1st quarter, and that lead would hold into the 2nd quarter.
The Bulldogs would get a big jump to start the 2nd quarter, as the final seconds of the 1st quarter saw the Heat's best drive of the day end at the Aquin 27 yard line when Shaw fumbled the ball and Aquin's Aiden Wolfe fell on it. Luedeking would get a big carry for 27 yards to help move the field position for Aquin, and then Wolfe would connect with Arndt for a 39 yard score. The 2 point try failed, but Aquin extended their lead to 29-0 with 10:14 left in the 2nd quarter.
West Central would begin the moving the ball again, starting at their own 31 yard line. They would drive the ball down to the Aquin 41 yard line, primarily behind the legs of Shaw, but a turnover on downs gave Aquin the ball back with 6:22 to go until halftime.
Aquin would get a big jump with a 29 yard run by Wolfe, which actually was a failed pitch attempt that resulted in a fumble, but Wolfe stayed composed, picked up the ball in stride and ran down the left sideline before he was finally pulled down. The drive would be capped off when Broge reached the end zone for his 4th TD of the 1st half from 4 yards out. Aquin would fail on the 2 point try, but had a commanding 35-0 lead that would hold at the break.
Aquin would receive the ball to start the 2nd half, and Wolfe would quickly find Drew Ege for a 35 yard connection. He would find Arndt on two different pass attempts for 17 yards, before Broge rushed the ball for 7 yards and the final score of the day. Broge would add the extra point kick to put Aquin up 42-0 with 11:19 remaining in the 3rd quarter and the clock began rolling.
West Central wouldn't do much with their 1st possession of the 3rd quarter, setting up at their own 12 yard line. They would gain 6 yards and be forced to punt the ball.
Aquin would begin putting the subs in with Jack Hively at QB, whose father Jeff was the QB of the '86 state championship team. Adam Awender, Cooper Hathaway, Austin Hilby, Hunter Buss, Brayden Jackson, Mason McIntyre, Camrin Neubauer, and Brant Carlson would all pick up stats on either offense or defense.
They would continue to move the ball as Hively connected with Hathaway, Buss, and Awender, along with some rushing attempts by Hilby, Awender, and Hively before the Heat forced them to turnover the ball on downs at the Heat 32 yard line.
West Central would begin moving the ball, and get deep into Aquin territory, but Hively would step in front of a pass from the Heat for the interception. From their Aquin would use their final possession to run out the clock for the win.
Aquin was paced by Evan Broge's 108 yards rushing and 5 TD's on the day. Aiden Wolfe went 9-10 passing for 138 yards and 1 TD, 28 yards rushing, and had the fumble recovery on defense. Ollie Arndt had 93 yards receiving with that big 30 yard run and 1 TD. Clay Luedeking would finish with 67 yards rushing on the day.
West Central was led by Devin Shaw who rushed the ball for 51 yards, and passed the ball for 46 yards on 5-7 passing on the day. Andy Lumbeck had 31 yards receiving, as Kolton Bell added 32 yards on the ground followed by Colton Fletcher with 22 yards on the ground.
The Heat fell to 3-2 on the season and will get on the road again to play Galva (0-5) next week.
Aquin improves to 4-1, but their schedule continues to get harder as they will host South Beloit (3-2) Friday.