Before Aurora Christian's first game of the year was over, the Eagles had lost their top two receivers to injuries. Fortunately, junior Cory Windle has stepped up and he did so in a big way against Walther Lutheran with three first half touchdown catches and 213 receiving yards in a 48-6 SCC Gold conference win for Aurora Christian.
"Thank goodness for Cory Windle," said Aurora Christian head coach Don Beebe. "He has been our big play guy all year and tonight he made some great plays."
The Eagles (5-1, 3-0) got off to a rough start turning the ball over on their first two possessions but Eagle quarterback Anthony Maddie and Windle hooked up for the first touchdown of the game on a 12 yard slant at the start of the second quarter.
On the next Eagle possession, Windle's contribution did not come with the TD catch but a leaping 41 yard reception over a Bronco defender on third and 20 inside their own 10 yard line that kept the drive alive. Running back Brandon Mayes then took a screen pass and turned it into a 25-yard TD scoring play that gave AC a 14-0 lead.
"Cory plays with great size going up over guys and catching balls," said Beebe. "You can just throw it up and he'll go get it."
Windle and Maddie then kicked it into another gear when the Eagles forced Walther Lutheran (1-5, 0-3) to punt after a three and out. Windle was able to get behind the defense and Maddie hit him in stride for a 48 yard TD with just under four minutes to play in the half extending the lead to 21-0.
"Our line blocked it great, Anthony threw it right where the safety could not get there and I was able to run under it," said Windle of the play.
Aurora Christian forced another punt and this time Maddie wasted no time in hitting Windle on the first play of the drive for a 79 yard TD that put the exclamation point on a 28-point second quarter.
"The linebacker fell off and I put it in that gap and Cory came back to it and made a play," said Maddie. "I can't say enough about Cory, he works really hard in practice and he was really focused this week on having a good game."
In the span of just under four minutes, what had been a competitive game became a blow out.
"I wasn't happy the first quarter," said Beebe. "Then we scored on two long plays and those were killers going into the half."
Maddie, who finished with 374 yard and 6 TD's, kept his foot on the gas on the opening drive of the second half hitting Noah Roberts with a 62 yard bomb to stretch the lead to 35-0. Maddie added one more TD pass, an 11 yarder to Brandon Walgren.
"Once we got a rhythm established, Anthony just got on a roll," said Beebe. "That is the kind of game that we expect of the kid."
Mayes added a game high 154 yards on the ground, including a 45 yard burst up the middle that put the game on a running clock.