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Winds of fate favor Maddie, Aurora Christian
By John Lemon | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/18/2011 8:14 PM

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Don Beebe could only recall one other time in his eight years as Aurora Christian coach that he deferred.

The former NFL wide receiver did just that Friday night against St. Edward, and the Green Wave made him pay by marching 70 yards on 17 plays and chewing 9 minutes, 25 seconds off the clock on the game's opening drive.

"I thought we were in for a long evening," Beebe said. "With the wind, I was hoping it would die down a little (in the second half)."

It turns out Aurora Christian has a quarterback that doesn't let a windy night bother him. Western Michigan-bound Anthony Maddie completed 17 of 26 passes for 365 yards, 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the Eagles' 55-22 victory. He added a sixth touchdown on an 11-yard scramble.

"Anthony was really on top of his game," Beebe said. "He made some great audibles. He picked it up and hurt them bad. That is great quarterbacking. He showed what kind of athlete he is -- not just throwing, but running, too."

As a junior, Maddie's season ended on a cold and windy November day in a Class 3A quarterfinal playoff loss at Stillman Valley.

After that defeat Beebe encouraged Maddie to pick up a football and head outside during the winter to practice throwing when it's windy.

"Last year at the Stillman game it was so windy and mentally it got to him," Beebe said. "I told him you are going to have to be able to throw in college you have to be able to throw in the wind. He really worked at that. The wind is not going to affect his ball anymore. If you really throw a good ball the wind shouldn't affect it. That's what he did tonight."

Maddie said those practices on windy days helped grow his confidence.

"A lot of time in the spring we had a lot of windy days we'd be out here throwing getting ready for late in the season when it's a little more chilly and the wind is blowing," Maddie said. "That gave me a little more confidence coming into games like this to have the same confidence as when it's nice out."

Maddie threw 3 of his touchdowns Friday to Cory Windle and the other 2 to Grayson Roberts. His big night against St. Edward upped his season numbers to 2,268 passing yards and 32 touchdowns.

As the fifth-ranked team in Class 4A, the 7-1 Eagles are poised for another long playoff run. And it's important for their pass attack to be able to move the ball no matter what the weather.

"It's just a mindset," Maddie said. "If you let the wind bother you it will bother you. You have to have confidence to put the ball in there. You have to play the wind a little more on the deep balls, throw more line drives. But as long as you have confidence it's not going to bother you."