Eagles dominate with passing game

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Aurora Christian’s Ryan McQuade completed 10 passes for 135 yards and three scores.

In the first half. And to one player, standout wide receiver Chad Beebe.

For Aurora Christian, it was the kind of night that quarterbacks and receivers dream about. Everything was working for the Eagles, who trampled Wheaton Academy 55-7 in Suburban Christian crossover action at West Chicago.

The Eagles have yet to be tested in improving to 4-0 on the season. That could change, with St. Francis, Marmion, Immaculate Conception and Montini looming in the next four weeks.

But the homestanding Warriors (0-4) could not keep pace with the Aurora Christian spread offense. McQuade gave an early preview by hitting Beebe on a 12-yard swing pass for a touchdown only 47 seconds into the game.

From there, it was off to the races for the Eagles. The Warriors knew the passes were coming but were powerless to stop them. McQuade did a lot of damage on short passes in the flat that Wheaton Academy could not cover.

“That’s what Chad excels at, is the run-after-catch. He’s a good ball-possession guy,” Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe said of his son. “He’ll catch it in a minus situation on a bubble screen, and the next thing you know he’s 10 yards up the field. And I was happy with the way Ryan played. It was his best game.”

Late in the first quarter, McQuade found Beebe for another short scoring strike, a 4-yarder in the flat. Moments later, Aurora Christian took advantage of excellent field position. Brandon Mayes took another short McQuade pass, made a spin move and bolted down the sidelines on a 34-yard scoring scamper to put the Eagles up 21-0.

The punctuation mark in the first half came when McQuade led a two-minute offense just before halftime. The senior, in his first year as varsity quarterback, hit Beebe on a perfect post pattern with 15 seconds left in the half for a 28-0 lead.

McQuade’s first-half numbers were superb — 17 of 23 for 250 yards and four scores. He would finish 26 of 39 for 342 yards and six touchdowns in only three quarters of work, with no interceptions.

“Everybody stepped up big-time tonight,” McQuade said. “The offensive line did a phenomenal job — I really appreciate what they’re doing. They were giving up the middle and the flat, so I just had to make the right reads.”

The Eagles activated the running clock late in the third period after Cory Windle hauled in a pair of 9-yard touchdown passes. Joel Bouagnon and Legend Smith completed the scoring with 19- and 11-yard scoring runs, respectively.

Beebe ended up with 16 catches for 201 yards before leaving with an injured wrist on the final play for the starters. Windle added seven receptions for 88 yards. Mayes, like Beebe an NIU recruit, ran well with 53 yards rushing on only three carries.

John Gemmel led Wheaton Academy with 37 yards on 13 rushes. Joel Swick got the Warrior touchdown on a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Aurora Christian outgained Wheaton Academy in total offense 400-131.

“This team has a lot of resolve to take it one game at a time and play good football, even when they could be complacent,” said Don Beebe.

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