AURORA — A traditional Route 82 battle needed another day to finish.
That was just fine with the Aurora football team. In the Greenmen’s case, it was better late than never.
Host Aurora improved to 3-0 after earning a convincing 30-0 victory over Suburban League crossover rival Twinsburg Saturday.
Due to inclement weather, the game was halted Friday with 1 minute, 34 seconds left in the third quarter as lightning struck near Veterans Stadium Friday.
The Greenmen had a 23-0 lead at the time. Aurora had second and 7 at the Tigers’ 26-yard line. If Aurora scored one more time, the running-clock rule would have been in effect.
Prior to the lightning strikes, the Greenmen were firmly in control of the Suburban League crossover battle.
Aurora, using its power running game and some occasional downfield passing, had three long scoring drives and also got a defensive touchdown off a turnover.
Thus far, the Greenmen’s defense has allowed just seven points in three games.
"The defense was dominant again," Aurora head coach Bob Mihalik said. "Our defensive line had been playing really well with Kevin Paul and Toto Gomez at tackle and Lenny Galaska, Patrick Murray and Sam Logalbo at end."
The Greenmen took a 7-0 lead, thanks to an 11-play, 63-yard drive on their second possession of the game.
Aurora had two third-down conversions and a fourth-down conversion, thanks to a defensive-holding penalty that moved the Greenmen into the red zone.
Ben Rogge ended the possession with a 9-yard touchdown run. Alex Bibza, who has put on a clinic with his booming kickoffs to the end zone, converted the first of his three point after tries.
After Aurora’s defense force a three-and-out on Twinsburg (1-2), the Greenmen went to work again.
This time, the Greenmen marched 70 yards in 11 plays to take a two-score lead. James Austin’s three-yard plunge capped the drive on second and goal. An errant snap resulted in an incomplete pass on the extra-point attempt. Thus, Aurora led 13-0 with 7:45 left in the half.
The Greenmen added one more score late in the half. Of course, the Greenmen probably wished they got a few more points.
Despite having first and goal from the Tigers’ 8, Aurora couldn’t punch it in. Bibza’s 22-yard field made it 16-0 with 22 seconds left.
"Offensively, we continue to control the time of possession, but we have to continue to get better at finishing drives and cutting down penalties," Mihalik said.
Twinsburg had an opportunity to score midway through the third quarter. Unfortunately for the Tigers, that promising drive turned into disaster.
Jack McElwee sacked Twinsburg quarterback Aiden Corrigan. The ball was knocked to the turf and Gomez picked up the loose pigskin and raced into the end zone untouched for a 55-yard score.
When action resumed Saturday, Evan McVay capped off the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run.
The Greenmen had a 309-151 advantage in total yards, including 201-69 on the ground. Anthony Gramm led Aurora with 89 yards on 15 carries and McVay rushed for 48 yards in nine attempts.
"We have developed a nice one-two punch at running back with Tony Gramm and Evan McVay," Mihalik said.
Greenmen quarterback Alex Moore completed 10-of-13 passes for 108 yards. Corrigan ran the ball 13 times for 48 yards to lead Twinsburg.
"Alex is playing well," Mihalik said. "He’s completing 70 percent of his passes and he is taking care of the football."
Aurora is scheduled to entertain Parma Padua Franciscan (1-2) this Friday at 7 p.m.
"We have a tough non-league game this week," Mihalik said. "Padua could easily be 3-0. They are big and physical and they have a lot of athletes in their secondary and receiving corps. We will have to be at our best in order to win."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.