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Young's acrobatic grab jump-starts Spartans

Sunday, October 25, 2009  
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Strong start, stout defense key much-needed victory

October 25, 2009

By BILL KINDT For The Beacon-News

There is nothing wrong with being a little lucky.

Tim Young was lucky Saturday at Vago Field and, largely because of it, he jump-started Aurora University to a 37-0 victory over winless Rockford College.

The Spartans took the opening kickoff and drove to the Rockford 12. That's when luck smiled on Young.

AU quarterback Mike Anderson lofted a pass toward Young in the right corner of the end zone. Young reached as far as he could with his left arm and made a one-handed grab for the touchdown.

"Our line protected Mike real well, and he put it in a spot where I was the only one who could get to it," said Young, a senior and a graduate of Aurora Christian.

Barely, at that.

"I'm not even sure if I did catch it but, hey, (the official) called it so I'm not complaining about it," Young said.

Other than the first of three Ryan Subick field goals, this one from 28 yards with 3:41 until halftime, there was nothing much for the Spartans (4-3, 2-2 Northern Athletics Conference) to be happy about.

"All year we've been starting out slow," Young said. "I thought today was one of our better starts."

"We didn't play particularly well in the first half," AU coach Rich Duncan said. "It didn't seem like we were real energized when we were out there."

That ended the second half when the Spartans totally dominated a young, and decidedly outmanned, Regents team.

The Spartans did it by winning the battles on offense, defense and special teams. AU's offense had 311 total yards with Anderson (9-of-21) throwing for 146 of them. Anderson added a 29-yard scoring pass to Mike Abel with 12:13 remaining.

AU's defense, a strength from the start of the season, held Rockford (0-7, 0-4) to 159 yards. The Regents never came close to scoring, although they did reach the AU 5-yard line on the final play of the game.

And the Spartans received a huge lift from their special teams. Subick hit on second-half field goals of 25 and 21 yards, Josh Davidson set up Steve Rivera's 1-yard touchdown plunge with a 31-yard punt return and Derek Powell pinned the Regents at their own 5-yard line with a booming 46-yard punt.

It may not have been the most artistic victory in AU's history, but that hardly matters.

"Any win is a good win," Duncan said. "We had some real positive things. All three phases, we played together and we capitalized on some opportunities."

Plus, luck came to rest on AU's side of the field.

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