Derek Powell helps spark Aurora University rout
By Bill Kindt For Sun-Times Media October 27, 2012 11:02PM
Updated: October 27, 2012 11:35PM
It was one of those turning point plays that somehow always get lost following a rout.
Aurora University held a 7-3 lead over visiting Lakeland College when wide receiver Derek Powell made the play of the game.
Quarterback Jimmy Bevell sent a pass in the direction of Powell at the Lakeland 8-yard line where Muskie defensive back Yaphay Harvey sat ready for the interception.
“He (Bevell) just kind of under threw it a little bit,” Powell said. “I came back on it and went over the top (of Harvey) a little bit. I thought maybe he’d (Bevell) throw it a little farther but the safety got back and I saw him out of the corner of my eyes and just slowed down.”
Powell actually stole the ball from Harvey to set up Bevell’s 8-yard TD pass to freshman running back Brandon Evans and AU went on to a 56-17 romp at Vago Field on Saturday.
AU (4-4 overall and 3-2 in the Northern Athletics Conference) had all systems burning offensively. Bevell was 20 of 32 for 375 yards and four touchdowns, Powell caught four passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns and running back Brandon Trujillo carried 19 times for 138 yards and a TD.
Even the back-ups got into the act. Jace Koerner, Bevell’s back-up, had touchdown runs of 6 and 34 yards and freshman tailback Jake Apple scored on a 90-yard run.
In all, the Spartans finished with 709 yards of total offense.
And, it could have, probably should have, been more.
AU worked the football inside the Lakeland 15 on its first two possessions but came away with nothing on the scoreboard because of a fumble at the Muskie 2 and a missed 30-yard field goal.
“We probably left some points out there that I thought we’d need at some point,” AU head coach Mark Walsh said. “To our kids’ credit, obviously, we came back.”
The Spartans took a 21-3 lead into halftime, but things got a little bit nervous when the Muskies (2-6, 2-3) took the second half kickoff and marched 67 yards in 11 plays to score on a 2-yard run by quarterback Dylan Van Straten (20 carries, 93 yards).
Then Lakeland forced a three-and-out and got the ball right back. AU’s defense answered the call and forced a Lakeland punt.
“Defensively, we had three really important stops in a row which allowed us to score,” Walsh said.
In fact, AU scored 28 unanswered points to turn what was a close game into a one-horse race. Bevell teamed with Powell on a 46-yard TD pass to jump-start that 28-point splash.
Bevell is playing at the top of any quarterback’s game. In the last two AU outings he is 47 of 64 for 712 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception.
AU, which plays host to Concordia-Wisconsin for Senior Day next Saturday, has an opportunity to end the season with three straight wins.
“Hopefully we can win out and put a good finish on my career here at AU,” Powell said.