The BigRich Sports Report

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Go Big Red

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  • Richard Rhoden
    Richard Rhoden
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I wrestled on a topic before plopping down to try and pass out some words of wisdom and decided to keep it positive by focusing on the hometown Big Red instead of that other Big Red team down Interstate 80. 
The Aurora football team continues to impress and take Class B by storm in its reunion tour as the Huskies earned a trip to the Class B semifinals after a 28-21 win at Norris Friday. 
Watching the growth and transformation of this team from the first couple of weeks to now is remarkable and a testament to all of those involved, from Kyle Peterson to the youngsters pulling extra work filling individual water bottles for each player. 
It’s so interesting to see how Aurora’s offense has transformed over the course of the 2020 season. 
There were flashes of brilliance early on, but there was just something missing that could have taken the effectiveness to the next level. 
Enter Mack Owens. 
Through Aurora’s first four games, Owens had just 40 carries for 167 yards and one touchdown. 
Since that point, the Husky junior has totaled 147 carries, amassing 912 yards and 14 touchdowns in seven contests, six of which were Aurora victories. 
He’s now a 1,000-yard rusher on the season and has four 100-plus yard games. Maybe more impressively, has two games of 33 and 31 touches. 
Seeing how Owens’ rushing game developed over the course of this season is sort of emblematic of how the entire team has grown. 
He runs with such aggression and refuses to go down. Heck, he looked like Tommy Frazier the other night breaking seven or eight tackles on one run alone against Norris. 
His stiff arm would shake any mortal man and possibly the most impressive part of his game is his ability to, no matter what, always fall forward for an extra yard or two. 
Not only that, but his ability to constantly bring pressure on the defensive side of the ball and force opposing quarterbacks into quick decisions that lead to incompletions, sacks or even interceptions is frightening for the opposing team. Glad he’s on our side. 
Maybe, dare I say, wearing Husker red some day?
Ethan Shaw has developed into quite the dual-threat quarterback. It might have taken him a few weeks to find what works for him, but fast forward to the playoffs and he just always seems to make the right read. 
He’s got enough speed to where he can create separation in space but can also let his teammates feast if the defense keys on him. 
In the passing game, he just never seems to put his team in a bad spot. He threw an interception against Seward the final week of the regular season and it was almost a wake-up call that he is, in fact, human. 
QB1 went four games in a row without an interception and has only thrown four the entire season. He’s completing 61 percent of his throws with 17 touchdowns and he’s also closing in on 1,000 yards rushing (883).
 You almost watch in awe as Aurora is always so well coached and well prepared going into each game. They’re just not going to beat themselves. They always have guys in the right spot making the right play. 
Aurora isn’t flashy and arguably doesn’t always have the top athletes on the field. That’s where coaching comes in. It’s fun to see a team so well prepared play in pressure-packed situations. 
There’s another one of those Friday night. A win and Aurora can take another trip down I-80 to the hallowed grounds. 
Go Big Red. 
RICHARD RHODEN can be reached at sports@hamilton.net.

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