Rick Armstrong’s football notebook

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They’ve been here before

Aurora Central traveled north of Milwaukee Saturday to face Oostburg High School and rolled to a 42-12 victory with running backs Steve Amoni (14 carries, 211 yards, 3 TDs), Steve Belovich (3-78, 2 TDs) and Brian Bohr (3-65, 1 TD) leading the way.

It marks the second straight year the Chargers have started the season 2-0. And, just like last year, a key matchup with Suburban Christian Conference Gold favorite Immaculate Conception looms on the schedule in week 3.

“Whoever wins, certainly could be in the driver’s seat (for the league title),” said ACC coach Brian Casey.

That’s especially true with Aurora Christian moving up to the SCC Blue this fall.

“The winner (Friday at ACC) will be in a great spot,” continued Casey. “We were in the same spot last year and we didn’t play well at all. We turned the ball over three times in our first four possessions (and five times overall) and got beat up pretty good.”

Some coaches in the same situation might try to forget about the 41-0 loss in 2011 and focus on the here and now to their players. Not so Casey, who referred to a line from a song out of his past.

“‘He who forgets, will be destined to remember,’ at least according to Pearl Jam (in the 1994 song ‘Nothingman’),” he said.

His players may also remember there were some extenuating circumstances. Because of a weather-induced postponement, the Chargers didn’t play their second game until the following Monday, giving them a short week to prepare for IC. They also lost Amoni, Bohr and three other starters to injury in the second game last year.

“This is a confident bunch,” said Casey. “They’re hungry.”

Stepping up

The Chargers got some other important contributions in their Week 2 win. On the defensive side, Belovich had 14 tackles, including two for loss, and Izzy Rosa added 12 tackles, including two sacks among his four tackles-for-loss. Matt Rahn added two pass receptions for 27 yards, threw in a 60-yard punt return and had one interception.

Band on the run

Senior running backs Austin Guido of Waubonsie Valley and Oumaru Abdulahi of Mooseheart sit atop the chart of area rushing leaders with 491 and 407 yards, respectively. They’re just getting there in different ways.

Guido has been the Warriors’ workhorse, grinding out his yards at an impressive 8.0-yard-per-carry clip with 61 rushing attempts. Abdulahi has been lightning for Gary Urwiler’s Ramblers, piling up his total in just 17 attempts for an average of 23.9 yards-per-carry.

Extreme measures

It was a tale of two halves for Marmion (0-2) vs. Fenwick. The team was outgained 237-29 in total yards and had just one first down in the opening 24 minutes but evened things up in the second half.

“Effort and we’re in excellent shape, and (Fenwick) got tired,” said Marmion coach Dan Thorpe, when asked the difference. “We played with more effort and desire and we were assignment sound instead of playing scared, running around. In the second half we played with an attitude and focus.”

Sophomore RB Jordan Glasgow, limited to seven first-half yards, finished with 110.

“Several of his runs weren’t execution runs, they were Jordan Glasgow being a beat runs,” said Thorpe. “We’ve gotta execute the assignment. When we have an opportunity to make a play, we have to come through. Our returning vets haven’t stepped up.”

Tough enough?

“I’m concerned but I’m not panicking,” said Thorpe of his team’s losses to Jacobs and Fenwick. “We kind of went the Montini (currently 1-1) route with our schedule. We’ve played some tough opposition, we’ll see how well it helps prepare us (for the remainder of a tough league schedule).”

Return from mono of LB Cody Snodgrass this week “helps a ton,” said Thorpe.

Easy? Hardly

West Aurora (1-1) opens DuPage Valley Conference play at home Friday against the best 0-2 team in the state, Wheaton Warrenville South, which is still ranked No. 13 in the Sun-Times Super 25 after a 19-13 loss to No. 1 Maine South last Friday and a season-opening loss to No. 3 Glenbard West.

The Blackhawks played the Tigers tough into the fourth quarter last year before dropping a 20-6 decision.

“I would think our kids have a little bit more confidence than in the past but we’re not talking about last year,” said West coach Nate Eimer. “Wheaton South is pretty good up front, they’re exceptional on defense and they can slide a lot of kids in and out of the skill positions.

“Some of our inexperience showed up (in Friday’s 26-21 loss to St. Charles East). We had a lot of mental errors, especially on the offensive side of the ball. We’ve gotta clean those up.”

They’ll need that and continued “great effort” against a team that is “gonna be a great challenge,” he said.

Rankings

Batavia dropped a spot in the Sun-Times rankings from 22 to 23, despite climbing to 2-0 with its win over Plainfield East. Neuqua Valley, unranked the previous week, debuted in this week’s listing at No. 10 after its 41-28 win over Naperville Central cemented its first-ever 2-0 start.

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