East Aurora stymied by Glenbard East surge

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After spotting Glenbard East a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter, East Aurora began to respond with some sparkling offensive play.

But the spurt was short-lived Friday, and Glenbard resumed its attack to win the Upstate Eight Valley game going away 56-6 in Aurora.

With the Rams (3-1, 1-1) already leading 7-0, Karon Keyes caught a pass from Philip Abruzino near the right sideline. He slipped from the grasp of two Tomcats and sped for an 84-yard score.

“We ran the play the way we had in practice and executed our blocks,” Keyes said. “It was a great throw and I adjusted to it well.”

Keyes opened the second quarter by catching a 5-yard TD pass from Abruzino, but it was set up by an interception and 33-yard return by Davontae Smith to the Tomcat 24.

“Coach says that with the ball in the air, I become a receiver,” Smith said. “I had some good blocks — one more and I could have gone all the way.”

But East Aurora (0-4, 0-2) wasted no time after the ensuing kickoff when, on its first play, Nathaniel Booker scorched the Rams for an exciting 69-yard scoring dash.

“It was actually an up-the-gut play, but it closed on me,” Booker said. “I just bounced it out and saw it was open. My blocker blocked the right way and I took it. A guy smacked my side, but an arm tackle was not going to stop me.”

The Tomcats almost scored on a hook-and-ladder play when Alfonso Dieppa threw to Julian Ramos, who then pitched to Booker for a long gain. But Booker had stepped out of bounds to limit the advance, and East Aurora’s threat ended.

Speedy Dominic Wilberton scored three times in the second quarter, the first on a 26-yard screen pass from Abruzino (9-for-11, 166 yards) and then on runs of 11 and 3 yards to put the game out of reach.

“Coach decided he wanted to do the screen, so we stuck it in the end zone,” said Wilberton, who rushed 12 times for 102 yards. “If we don’t have offensive linemen we can’t run the ball, so I give credit to them.”

Glenbard East piled up 347 yards on offense in the first half, but allowed East Aurora only 181 yards in the game — 69 coming on Booker’s run.

“I think our defense played great. We came back from a tough loss against Neuqua,” Smith said. “We had one mess-up that led to a score, but we did what we had to.”

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