The South Elgin and East Aurora football teams got together for breakfast Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon, they got together on the football field.
Although South Elgin won easily, 52-6, in the Upstate Eight Valley game, the two programs came away with nothing but respect for each other.
"You can be proud of the coaching profession when you watch (East Aurora coach) Bill (Bryant) and his staff," said South Elgin coach Dale Schabert. "We see those guys week in and week out prepare their teams, and their kids fight. They might not be the most talented group, but they played hard all the way 'till the end. And I give their kids a ton of credit, their coaches a lot of credit. They're out there working."
On the field, almost everything worked for the Storm as South Elgin celebrated its first homecoming in its new on-campus stadium. Things started a bit slowly with the Storm throwing 2 red-zone interceptions. The second was returned 90 yards by Jamario Littleton for the Tomcats' only score.
Littleton was playing his first varsity game after being called up from the sophomore squad.
But once the Storm's offense got rolling, it was efficient. Adolfo Pacheco touched the ball only 4 times but scored 3 touchdowns. He scored on runs of 85 and 39 yards, and caught a 40-yard scoring pass from Zach Gross.
Gross threw another scoring strike to Andrew Weedman. Fullback Geno Passarelli scored on an 8-yard run, and Gross ran one in himself.
The Storm's last touchdown was a 36-yard pass from backup quarterback Joey Balaja to Joshua Hernandez. It was Hernandez's first catch of the year.
David Reisner added a 35-yard field goal for South Elgin.
"I wasn't real pleased with the start," said Schabert, whose team will battle for its playoff life against Geneva next week at home.
"I thought we came out a little unfocused, turned the ball over a couple of times, made some mistakes that were uncharacteristic."
But the Storm (3-4, 3-2) clicked for 28 points in a 5 ½ minute span in the second quarter. The longest "drive" in that span covered 3 plays.
Meanwhile, the South Elgin defense held the Tomcats to 7 total yards in the first half and 57 for the game. East Aurora got its first and only first down with 9:45 to play.
Quarterback Latrell Lee rushed for 27 yards to lead East Aurora (0-7, 0-4).
"We've just got a lot of rough edges that still need to be taken care of," said Bryant. "We're working every day trying to do that."