ELMHURST – After years of frustration against Aurora Christian, IC Catholic got back at the Eagles and it all started with Clark Brinkman.
Brinkman took the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and the Knights dominated the rest of the game. IC won 48-8 at Plunkett Park on Saturday for the first win against the Eagles since 2006.
"We were all pumped up for this game," Brinkman said. "We wanted this game. It meant a lot to us, especially because we were playing AC. This is a big game for us every year and it meant a lot for the conference."
The Knights improved to 4-3 and 3-2 in the Suburban Christian Gold. They close the season with a pair of 2-5 teams, Walther Lutheran and Chicago Christian, with the chance to clinch a playoff spot with wins in both.
Aurora Christian (5-2, 3-2 SCC Blue) was without quarterback Austin Bray and a few others starters, but the Eagles were overmatched on Saturday. IC jumped ahead 28-0 at halftime and led 41-0 before the Eagles finally scored in the fourth quarter.
"We went after them a little bit," said IC coach Bill Krefft. "That quarterback will make a little bit of a difference, but I think their lines were intact and we went after them."
Krefft said playing Montini the week before helped the Knights prepare in the trenches for the Eagles. The Knights ran for over 300 yards as a team with three players running for 70 yards or more.
Freshman Jordan Rowell had 158 yards on just eight carries and senior Randy Leslie added 78 yards on 13 carries. The running duo has given the Knights a change of pace in the running game.
"Randy is a little bit more seasoned and Jordan is a little more explosive," Krefft said.
Krefft said he expects to see Aurora Christian again in the playoffs and expects it to be a closer battle. Regardless of the big win, he has the team preparing for the final two weeks of the regular season like the playoffs have already started.
After taking on SCC Blue teams in four straight games, the Knights enter Saturday's game against Walther Lutheran as the favorite, a change of pace for IC.
"Walther is another good football team, but I think we really gotta focus on us and get better each day," Krefft said. "In that way we'll put ourselves in favorable positions the last two weeks. With the competition we just saw we think we're prepared."
IC Catholic 48, Aurora Christian 8
Passing: Jack Copher 5-for-6, 128 yards, TD
Rushing: Jordan Rowell 8-158, 2 TDs; Randy Leslie 13-78, 2 TDs; Copher 7-70, TD
Receiving: Clark Brinkman 3-106, TD; Sam Rose 2-22
Defense: Sam Symeonides 15 tackles, 2 sacks; Riley Ricobene 15 tackles; Rowell interception; Stephan Stam fumble recovery
Week 8: IC Catholic vs. Walther Lutheran
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lewis Stadium, 150 S. West Ave., Elmhurst
Records: IC Catholic 4-3 (3-2 SCC Gold), Walther Lutheran 2-5 (2-3 SCC Gold)
Outlook: After beating up on a shorthanded Aurora Christian team the Knights have a chance to clinch a playoff spot with two wins against teams with losing records to close the season. Walther, which just beat Chicago Christian 43-21, is the first of those two games. Last year IC won 55-13.