Jordan Rowell allows IC Prep to rally past Aurora Central Catholic

SHARE Jordan Rowell allows IC Prep to rally past Aurora Central Catholic

It was a barn-burner in Aurora as the new Metro Suburban West had its conference openers Friday.

After Brandon Babler returned a kickoff 80 yards to tie the score with 1:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, sophomore Jordan Rowell finished a remarkable night by running 41 yards for the winning touchdown with only 38 seconds left to give IC Prep a stunning 30-23 win over Aurora Central Catholic.

IC Prep (1-0, 2-3) and ACC (0-1, 4-1) walked through three mostly uninteresting and penalty-filled quarters with the Knights leading only 9-7 to start the fourth.

“We are a young team with four sophomores and a freshman on varsity,” IC Prep coach Bill Krefft said in analyzing the slow start. “We have to find ourselves earlier in games and we have to work at getting better.”

After a bad-snap safety against ACC in the first quarter, Babler and his line executed a classic sweep right for a a 42 yard score in the second.

“That’s our play and we’ve scored on it multiple times,” Babler said. “I trust the guys on the right side blocking and know it’s going to be there every time.”

Starting for the first time, IC freshman quarterback Luke Ricobene was 7-for-11 in the first half for 113 yards, but the Knights’ rushing attack had produced only 18 net yards.

The IC Prep running game began to change when Rowell burst through the right side and sped 72 yards on the sideline for a 9-7 lead midway through the third.

Roman Padilla had a 2-yard touchdown run for ACC to open the fourth as the Chargers reclaimed the lead at 15-9. But Rowell then emerged as the story.

The 190-pound Rowell (20 carries, 254 yards) scored from 34 yards out at 9:10 and from 8 yards with 1:54 remaining to culminate a quick drive he began by intercepting ACC quarterback Matt Rahn. His winner followed just over a minute later.

“We all got adrenaline pumping and were so excited to be back in the game,” Rowell said of the fourth-quarter blitz. “I was doubting a little bit (on the winning score) but I saw the line pushing and I just ran it. All I can do is run.”

Krefft was pleased with the play of his underclassmen.

“Jordan Rowell is an exceptional player and Ricobene did a great job coming in and managing the system,” he said.

“We have to talk about the offensive line and those seniors. I told them at practice that this would be on their shoulders with the young quarterback and running back. It’s a tribute to them that they performed as they did.”

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