A week nine win by the Aurora Houn' Dawgs over McDonald County helped the team secure the fourth seed in district play and thus home-field advantage for the first round of the tournament against rival Mt. Vernon this Friday.
The Houn' Dawgs put up 34 points on the Mustangs in the first half, including an 84 yard kickoff return for a touchdown by sophomore Dylan Clayton just before the half.
Despite the visiting team's best efforts in the final two quarters, the Houn' Dawgs were able to close out the game with some extra breathing room, thanks to a 13-yard touchdown run by junior Logan Lauffer in the fourth period.
Aurora also recorded touchdowns on runs by seniors John Dakota Lee and Clayton Dunning. Each also threw for a touchdown in the first half -- Lee to Lauffer and Dunning to junior Kaden Clark on his only pass of the game.
Lee finished 9-for-17 passing for 218 yards and added 39 yards rushing on nine carries. Dunning led rushers and receivers with 116 and 134 yards, respectively. Lauffer added 19 yards on the ground and 75 on four catches.
Senior Connor Savage led the defense with 19 total tackles on his Senior Night, while Clayton, Clark and sophomore Dakota Browning each recorded a sack. Junior Isaac Martinez recorded an interception for the Aurora defense, as well.
With the win in the final regular season game, Aurora moved to 5-4 on the season and 4-3 in Big 8 Conference play. The Houn' Dawgs will look to defeat Mt. Vernon at home for the second time this season at 7 p.m. on Friday. In their week seven matchup, the Dawgs were victorious by a score of 33-14.