Heading Logo

Vanzo rushes for 3 TDs, Austin throws for 3 more as Aurora HIgh gridders win

by STEVE BATKO | CORRESPONDENT Published: September 7, 2016 1:00 AM
  • 1 of 2 Photos | View More Photos

Aurora -- Just as Solon did in the season opener, Aurora put together a gem of a game in a convincing 41-13 road win over Euclid, as the Greenmen continued a rugged non-league slate early on.

Senior leaders and an improving cast of young athletes made an impact, as Aurora moved to 1-1.

The Greenmen continue to work at all facets of the game and took advantage of mistakes by a young Euclid unit.

It was a huge victory on Euclid's turf, and helped AHS with computer points since Euclid (1-1) beat perennial powerhouse Cleveland Glenville to start the season.

"I think with a lot of new starters, our confidence is important," said head coach Bob Mihalik, whose defense forced three redzone turnovers by Euclid.

[Article continues below]

"This was really good for their confidence -- to come back on the road against a quality team like Euclid in a short week, and after that tough loss to Solon. It was great how well we responded and handled adversity, then bounced back."

Mihalik isn't thinking about points this early, though; he just wants his team to make progress and reach the point to make a postseason run.

Seniors like running back Chris Vanzo, linebacker-fullback Bubba Arslanian, and quarterback Mac Austin did their part against the Panthers.

Vanzo rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns, while bullish 210-pound linebacker Arslanian registered 16 tackles.

Arslanian also had a 59-yard TD burst in the third period on a screen pass from Austin to push the lead to 20-6. From there, Aurora never looked back.

[Article continues below]

Vanzo scored on an 11-yard run, then junior wide receiver Gavin Blunt had a 33-yard scoring toss from Austin in the second stanza to push the lead to 14-0.

The first score came on the game's opening drive -- a 14-play, 80-yard masterpiece. Vanzo added his other two scoring runs of 2 and 25 yards in the fourth quarter.

"CHRIS HAD A really big game for us," said Mihalik.

"Arslanian was all over the field on defense and Mac Austin did a great job of managing the game for us and had three TDs."

Senior Kyle DelRosa made a great offensive play, catching a 43-yard scoring strike from Austin off a nice fake.

DelRosa makes a fine target at tight end. His fourth-period catch helped break the game open against a Euclid team that had 10 wins and a playoff appearance in 2015.

Austin finished 6 of 11 in the air for 187 yards against a Panther defense that held Glenville's offense scoreless.

Tailback De'Quan Pruitt scored both of Euclid's touchdowns and carried 23 times for 118 yards.

The speedy Pruitt had a 4-yard jaunt in the third stanza that cut Aurora's lead to 14-7. Arslanian quickly answered on his long jaunt, and the Panthers never got closer.

Aurora's defense created some errors and made some key plays.

With the score 20-6, Euclid threatened early in the third period, but turned over the ball at the 4:54 mark at Aurora's 13.

Mihalik had plenty of praise for his defensive front, which rotates seven guys. He singled out seniors Holden Semancik, Will Lovell and Caleb Tinsley, along with junior Mason Copley.

"We use and rotate a lot of guys up front, and they really stood out," he said.

An Aurora secondary also got plenty of positive words, led by seniors Jonathan Blue, Jimmy Richards and Ben Stawicki, along with junior Evan Fromwiller.

"Those guys really stepped up their game this week," said Mihalik.

Junior placekicker Robby Albrecht connected on five of six extra points.

Aurora travels to Twinsburg on Sept. 9 and then starts Suburban League play Sept. 16 at Kent Roosevelt.

The Tigers are led by QB Jalen Tucker, OL C.J. Roscoe, WR Christian Edgerson, SS-RB Jared Eaton, RB-LB Cam'Ron McClain, LB Isaiah Savitt and DB Brendan Little.

Rate this article

Do you want to leave a comment?   Please Log In or Register to comment.