Aurora is going to the State Championship Game!
Aurora Takes Down "The Kings of the West"
Dick Enberg would have said "Oooh My!" The Aurora Huskies took a line from Lee Corso and said "Not so Fast, my Friend!"
In one of the most exiting football games I've seen in years, Aurora pulled off a 37-33 win a wild, back and forth affair that had more momentum swings than you have seen in a coon's age.
The Bison took the opening kick-off and marched 71 yards down the field in "normal" Bison fashion and posted a 6-0 lead with 6:29 remaining as Nate Berry snuck over from a yard out. Dillon Goltl caught a 12 yard pass for another score with 10 ticks left in the first and McCook led 12-0 after the first. Tell ya what,about that time I was thinking this may end up like the previous meeting between the two, but on a 4th and 7 at their own 26 EARLY IN THE 2ND QUARTER, the Huskies decided to gamble and Reserve QB/Punter Tysen Broekemeier hit Jerry Lobeda for a first down and things changed for good for the Aurora football team. FROM THAT PLAY ON, we had a ball game.
McDonald, who had not been a featured runner all season long, started to get yardage on quarterback keepers, both on roll outs and 0ne-step-and-up-the gut plays. The slick McDonald scored twice in the second stanza from 3 yards and 1 yard out and the Huskies took a 14-12 lead. I thought McCook would figure things out at the half as usual, but Aurora came out and scored first on a 24 yard FG by Tyler Conradi. Then the Bison machine kicked in. Matt Berry scored on short runs of 2 yards apiece and the Bison had the lead 26-17 after three. Aurora refused fold though. On a fabulous fake to FB Nate Suck off right tackle, Tyler McDonald kept the ball around left end, ran for 12 yards and pitched the ball to a trailing Jerry Lobeda, who then scooted the remaining 22 for a score. Now the Huskies were within two, but once again, Berry led the Bison to paydirt and swelled the lead to 33-24 after he snuck in fron the one. That's where the last "Not So Fast My Friend" kicked in for Aurora. McDonald led his troops down the field in a hurry, firing a TD strike to Zach Springer form 9 yards out with 5:17 left and with the Conradi kick it was a 33-31 game.
McCook could not convert and Aurora took control on the next drive with Fullback Suck ripping off gains of 10-12 and 15 yards, the latter gain saw him leaping high over a pile of Bison defenders for the big chunk. McDonald kept it for the one yard score and the Huskies had themselves a 37-33 lead with 1:28 left and could smell Lincoln. Berry took McCook down the field and looked like he had a sure completion to the swift Dillon Goltl inside the 15 when Sophomore CB (Drum Student) Jacob Shaffer's perfect pass coverage prevented the catch. Two more incompletions and Aurora took the ball and it was finished.
The line blocking was really excellent by Aurora and the Bison just did not wrap up sometimes on tackles. Got to give the huge props to the underdog Huskies....they refused to be intimidated by the Class A Rated McCook team. McDonald ended up connecting on 16 of 26 passes for 208 yards and running for 3 TD's. Lobeda rushed for 88 yards on only 8 carries. Nate Suck played the game of his life carrying the ball, gaining 99 yards on 14 carries. McCook's Berry rushed for 181 yards on 22 carries, pushing his season total to 1,113, his 2nd straight 1000 yard season. Lobeda caught 8 passes for 142 yards, proving he is dangerous in that capacity also. Tonight was one of the brightest moments in Aurora football I have ever witnessed, and Lord knows they've had a bunch over the years......a bushel basket full! It'll seem strange not to see McCook in the Finals, just like when Howells is absent, but believe you me, those never-say-die troops from Aurora richly deserve that trip to the Promised Land on the Husker-Turf on the floor of Memorial Stadium next Saturday night against those Orange guys. I can also say I lived to see one of my best Drummers play as a starter in a State Championship game. You could only hope all the games in next week's HOLY WEEK will be as good!
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