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Big second half propels Aurora Christian past Marmion

AurorChristian's BrandMayes runs ball against MarmiAcademy Friday. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

Aurora Christian's Brandon Mayes runs the ball against Marmion Academy on Friday. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 29, 2012 12:27AM

With his Aurora Christian football team trailing Marmion 7-6 at halftime, the first thing Don Beebe told his players was, “Hey guys, we’re fine.”

Were they ever.

The Eagles forced four straight punts by the host Cadets to open the second half, and didn’t give up a first down until the final play of the third quarter. By then, Aurora Christian quarterback Ryan McQuade, who had thrown two first-half interceptions, had righted himself and the Eagles were off to the races.

ACS outscored the Cadets 18-0 in the decisive third quarter and put up 31 straight points before rolling to a 38-14 decision.

“My money is on Aurora Christian for the 3A state championship, because of their physicality that they bring both offensively and defensively,” said Marmion coach Dan Thorpe, whose club falls to 1-3 in the Suburban Christian Blue Division and 1-5 overall.

“McQuade was unconscious. He played a very good game. We knew they had guys that could catch the ball but he put it there.”

The Eagles rolled up 467 total yards of offense with McQuade throwing for 241 yards and three touchdowns: a 14-yarder to Ryan Suttle and scoring tosses of 35 and 8 yards to Cory Windle (5-126), who even completed a pass to his QB after taking a lateral.

Marmion got on the board first when quarterback Charlie Faunce (18-115 rushing) went around left end on an option keeper for 78 yards and a score. It came after Tyler Eberth’s interception. Faunce, who also plays defensive back, tipped a McQuade throw that was hauled in by Josh Meyers for the first pick.

That was all the Cadets could muster, however, limited to 10 first downs for the game while giving up 28. Marmion did have 310 totals yards, as Mike Montalbano went 81 yards on a nice catch-and-run with a screen pass midway through the fourth quarter for the Cadets’ other score. It allowed Faunce to finish 6 of 13 for 137 yards passing.

But proving it wasn’t the Cadets’ day, Suttle promptly gathered the ensuing onside kick and ran it in from 48 yards for Aurora Christian’s final score. They’re now a perfect 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the league and look like a good bet to defend that 3A title they won last year.

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