LOMBARD – After receiving lopsided losses to powerhouses Marian Central and Montini the past two weeks, IC Catholic takes on Aurora Christian in a matchup between two strong Class 3A programs.
The Eagles have won the Class 3A title the past two years and are again among the favorites with a 5-1 record and a quality win against St. Francis. The Knights have state titles in 2002 and 2008 and are hoping to get back to that level.
Throw in the fact that the Eagles knocked IC out of the playoffs 28-21 last year in the only playoff game AC won by less than 30 points and there’s plenty of motivation for IC.
“They’re a complete team,” said IC coach Bill Krefft. “We just got through a quality opponent so we hope that helped us prepare.”
The Knights (3-3, 2-2 Suburban Christian Gold) are coming off a 38-21 loss to Montini, which is the most points the undefeated Broncos have given up this season. Quarterback Jack Copher completed nine passes to seven different receivers and the defense kept the score competitive for a while, but the Knights were unable to finish drives.
In the second half they punched in a pair of scores, and sophomore Rhashaun Epting returned an interception for a touchdown to help the Knights outscore the Broncos 21-14 in the second half.
“We came out and we were able to move the ball on them a little bit,” Krefft said. “When you play teams like Marian and Montini you just play your best and compete. I think in that process we’ve become more of a team.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against the Eagles, Krefft mentioned running back Legend Smith and wide receiver Noah Roberts as players to watch. The athleticism the Eagles’ possess will put a burden on IC’s open-field tackling.
“We need to tackle well in space,” Krefft said. “They have a lot of offensive weapons so we need to contain them.”
Montini 38, IC Catholic 21
Passing: Jack Copher 9-for-16, 94 yards, 2 TDs
Rushing: Copher 13-103; Randy Leslie 22-102
Receiving: Sean Sutton 1-18; James Janowski 2-17, TD; Leslie 2-16, TD
Week 7: IC Catholic vs. Aurora Christian
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lewis Stadium, 150 S. West Ave., Elmhurst
Records: IC Catholic 3-3 (2-2 SCC Gold), Aurora Christian 5-1 (3-1 SCC Blue)
Outlook: These two teams met in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs last year with the Eagles coming out on top 28-21 en route to a second straight state title. It was by far the Eagles' closest playoff game last year so the Knights will be hoping to get even. IC has lost back-to-back games to Marian Central and Montini while AC lost its first game of the season at Marmion last Friday.