Posted: Friday, 30 August 2013 10:55PM

Aurora defense stands tall in win

Aurora, Mo. (For  -- Aurora coach Rick Scholten wanted his young players to see what it was like to play in pressure situations on Friday nights. He got his wish, and more, as the host Houn' Dawgs had to make three fourth quarter stands to earn a season opening 19-12 win over Ava.


Aurora entered the fourth quarter leading 12-6, but Ava had three opportunities in a row to do something spectacular and steal the game going away. Two fumbles and an interception by the Houn' Dawg defense kept that from happening.
"We have a number of guys who hadn't seen any real pressure situations and I wanted them to see what that's like on Friday nights," said Scholten after the win. "I just didn't know they were going to see that much pressure in such a short amount of time."
Aurora scored the first two touchdowns of the game, the first coming with 5:21 left in the first quarter on a 2-yard quarterback keeper by Josh Fronabarger. That was followed by a 69-yard run by senior running back William Blankenship, who finished the night with 115 yards on nine carries. The second score was a 10-yard touchdown run for Blankenship at the 11 second mark of the second quarter to put Aurora up 12-0 at the break.
The Houn' Dawgs recovered the second half kickoff, but were unable to capitalize. And Ava made that hurt by driving down the field and scoring on a 34 yard pass from junior quarterback Cody Huff to Colton Akers. The extra point was no good, making it 12-6 Aurora.
Aurora's three defensive stands in the fourth quarter began with an interception by Tristan Dunning that stalled a nine play drive at the 22 yard line. Next, Aurora's Nathan Mueller recovered a fumble by Ava at the 5:40 mark. And then the final stand culminated in a fumble recovery in the final two minutes by Aurora senior Tyler Juracek.

The Houn' Dawgs capitalized on that last stand, scoring on the very next play, a 20-yard pass from Fronabarger to Skylar Cahill. Fronabarger's extra point was good, giving Aurora the 19-6 lead.
Ava scored one last time in the final minute on a 17 yard completion from Huff to Akers.
"We had our chances," said Ava head coach Daniel Swofford. "We just couldn't hold on to the ball."
Fronabarger finished with six completions for 93 yards and a touchdown for Aurora.
Huff had 121 yards passing for Ava, and running back Chase Willis had 91 yards rushing on 16 carries.
"I'm proud of the way my guys competed," said Scholten. "They learned alot about themselves tonight."

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