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It didn't take long for Waubonsie Valley's football team to set the tone for the game -- and maybe the season.
The Warriors scored on a crisp 5-play drive to open the game and never looked back in Friday's 21-7 nonconference victory at Naperville Central.
Even though the offense didn't look that crisp the entire night, the defense did plenty of heavy lifting in keeping the Redhawks off the scoreboard until the final minutes of the game. The Warriors snared three turnovers, forced Naperville Central to punt six times and only allowed the Redhawks through the red zone once on a late 55-yard touchdown pass.
"I've been coaching 35 years and I've never had a drive go like clockwork," Warriors coach Paul Murphy said of the opening drive. "We've got to come out here and let Naperville Central and the (DuPage Valley Conference) know we came to play. We're as good as Naperville, and now we've got to show it."
A 26-yard run by Brandon Malby and 9-yard passes from Mitch Stefani to Malby and Austin Ameri set up a 37-yard touchdown run by Austin Guido, who rushed for 60 yards on 14 carries, only two minutes into the game.
The defenses played to a standstill for the next two-plus quarters until the Warriors opened a 14-0 lead on Stefani's 71-yard touchdown to Troy Fumagalli midway through the third quarter.
Stefani completed 11 of 16 passes for 175 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to Fumagalli late in the fourth quarter to cap a seven-minute drive and extend the lead to 21-0.
"We definitely came out ready to go," said Stefani, who stressed the motivation of losses to the Redhawks the last three years. "They haven't gotten it done the last couple of years, but we wanted to get it done tonight."
Naperville Central, which turned the ball over three times, struggled offensively throughout the night. Matt Randolph rushed for 129 yards on 27 carries while quarterback Ian Lewandowski rushed for 59 yards.
The Redhawks scored their lone touchdown on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Lewandowski to Blake Butler with 2:26 left in the game.
"It didn't go the way we hoped," said Naperville Central coach Mike Stine. "We needed to get something going offensively and we just couldn't. They made the plays."