Austin Bray’s near-perfect display ignites Aurora Christian

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For Aurora Christian, there is no such thing as too much, and a week of training, practice and studying video before the big game is just what the doctor ordered.

The Eagles dominated Oregon 49-20 in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs Saturday night in Aurora, showing how practice made for a near-perfect effort.

Aurora Christian advances to play Seneca in the quarterfinals next weekend.

“We made sure we prepared our offense,” said wide receiver Brandon Walgren. “I knew we could pass on this team and it worked.”

Passing was key to the win for Aurora Christian (8-3) as quarterback Austin Bray proved completing 24-of-26 passes for 166 yards with a touchdown and ran in his own three-yard touchdown. Walgren ran for 81 yards in eight carries with three touchdowns.

“We came in knowing what we were going to do and it helped my game,” Bray said. “I stuck to the game plan and threw like I know how to throw.”

Oregon (6-5) scored early with a three-yard run by Pierce Dhaese. Bray answered back with a three-yard touchdown scamper, and once Aurora Christian got momentum, there was no stopping it.

After Walgren completed his first TD play to make it 14-7, he threw 25 yards to Zack Bosek for another TD. From there, Walgren returned a punt 49 yards. That gave the Eagles the juice to score on first-and-goal on a run by Legend Smith (104 yards, three TDs) with 3:37 left to play in the half.

Just when Oregon thought the Eagles would tap the brakes a bit in the final seconds of the second quarter, Bray and Walgren connected for a 55-yard TD with just .05 seconds left for a 35-7 lead.

The surge continued as the Eagles’ first play in the third quarter came from Smith for a 60-yard touchdown. Smith also added the final nail with a two-yard TD run with 9:04 left in the fourth quarter.

Adam Bettner and Sawyer Reynolds also scored for Oregon.

“I expected it to be a tight game, but that kind of changed quickly,” Bray said. “God blessed us with this great day to play and great attitudes for the game and we brought what we knew we had. I’m proud of all of us and look forward to next week.”

“I’m looking forward to another week of practice,” Walgren said. “We’ll prepare just as we did and come ready to play.”

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