AURORA — Evan McVay knows what you’re thinking.
Pardon the crotchety teenager if he doesn’t particularly care for it.
“Everyone has been doubting us since day one,” he sneered after Friday’s game.
It looks like the junior tailback/defensive back has just put everyone in his or her place.
The Aurora football team certainly doesn’t mind, though.
Thanks to McVay’s massive chip on his shoulder, the Greenmen’s road to perfection remains intact.
Host Aurora improved to 11-0 after taking down Steubenville 27-21 in a Division III, Region 9 quarterfinal game at Veterans Stadium.
It was the Greenmen’s 14th consecutive victory dating back to last year. Aurora hasn’t lost a game since Oct. 5, 2018, when it suffered a humbling 28-3 defeat to Highland.
The Greenmen are doing the humbling this season.
Aurora crushed the competition en route to its first Suburban League American Conference title since 2016.
How dominant were the Greenmen against their six American Conference foes? How does 249-27 sound?
Aurora also defeated three Division II teams, including two by at least 28 points, and a Division IV squad that advanced to the playoffs.
Quite impressive, wouldn’t you say?
Of course, some people weren’t particularly astonished by the Greenmen machine.
That didn’t sit well with a certain 5-foot-8, 165-pound two-way standout. As a matter of fact, he’s quite annoyed with his favorite team’s epic list of misinformed haters.
“People were saying we’re not playing good teams,” an exasperated McVay said.
The slippery junior is doing his part to zip his critics’ lips.
Playing against a squad that has won four state championships, including three in the 21st century, McVay baffled the fearsome Big Red defense by doing his best Randy Moss impersonation.
The agitated junior finished with eight catches for 162 yards. Three of those receptions went like this: 34, 46 and 31 yards, respectively. By the way, those three catches led to 17 Aurora points.
“It’s something else,” McVay said. “I can’t thank my teammates enough, the coaching staff, this entire community. They’re so amazing.”
McVay and sophomore quarterback Alex Moore excelled against an opponent that featured the two most dynamic playmakers on the field.
That appeared to be the case before the game, at least.
Steubenville had a running back who had gained more than 1,900 yards on the ground and a quarterback who was a lightning rod any time he had the ball in his hands.
“We knew they had a strong run game,” McVay said. “We worked all week. The coaches do a great job preparing us for the run game. They’re the real deal.
“We were keying on the running back all night. Obviously, the quarterback is going to get some good plays now and then, but yeah, he’s a good player.”
McVay is pretty good too.
As a key cog in the Greenmen’s aerial attack, McVay has caught 33 passes for 476 yards and two touchdowns. When he receives the ball in the backfield, McVay has scored six times while gaining 383 yards.
Not bad, right? The general response among his critics, on the other hand, have proven to be rather apathetic.
“Meh,” they chirped.
Despite its first undefeated regular season since 1998, Aurora, which crushed defending American Conference champ Barberton and also held off a very competitive Padua Franciscan squad during the regular season, received a modest fourth seed in the Region 9 computer ratings.
McVay won’t hide his displeasure when it comes to such lack of respect for his team. At the same time, though, he used his frustration as a source of motivation in his biggest game to date.
And like the Incredible Hulk, the madder McVay got, the stronger he got.
“After the Barberton game and the Padua game, that really gave us confidence,” McVay said. “We were really confident coming into this game.”
The Greenmen’s pursuit to embarrass their long list of detractors won’t get any easier.
Aurora is scheduled to play top-seeded New Philadelphia in a Region 9 semifinal game this Friday. Don’t expect McVay to be in awe of the formidable Quakers.
Playing the role of so-called underdog seems to bring out the best in this rather grumpy but fearless teenager.
“We’re ready,” McVay said. “We just proved everyone wrong. We’re 11-0.”
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.