On Streamwood's first offensive play from scrimmage of the season under the lights on its home turf, thoroughbred senior running back Alex Morrow fumbled the ball.
He'd get it back on the next possession and sprint to a 61-yard touchdown to put the Sabres ahead for good en route to a 34-17 nonconference football victory over Hoffman Estates at Millennium Field at Streamwood High School.
"It was a little bit of nerves," said Morrow, who finished the game with 277 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns on 24 carries. "After that drive we got angry and we wanted to score."
Hoffman Estates (0-1) was able to pull within 3 at 20-17 when senior quarterback Jordan Hudak, who finished 12-of-23 passing for 174 yards and rushed for another 51 yards, hit Mike Jackson for a 56-yard touchdown reception.
After that, it appeared the Hawks had Streamwood (1-0) within striking distance.
On a fourth-and-1 one from the Hoffman 41-yard line Streamwood opted to go for it. Morrow again found a hole in the Hawks' defense, this time for 18 yards and a first down that would eventually set up another of his rushing touchdown.
"I give them credit," said Hoffman Estates head coach Bill Helzer. "It looked like they were down but they dug deep and put together a big drive."
Streamwood's defense was a big reason Hoffman was unable to overcome the deficit, causing 3 second-half turnovers.
"I'm happy for our kids to come out and play some really sound defense," said Sabres coach Cal Cummins. "It's the best defense we've played since I've been here. This was pretty fun tonight."
Dalton Lundeen, Streamwood's senior quarterback, was 6-of-18 passing for 98 yards. He also ran for 18. He had the best view in the house most of the night handing the ball off to Morrow and helping his team to the first 1-0 start of his career.
"(Winning) feels awesome," said Lundeen. "My entire time I've been here we haven't started off the season 1-0. When Morrow runs like this it makes everything easier."
Hudak was removed from the game late in the fourth quarter due to cramping, but is not expected to miss any time.
The Sabres, who were 2-7 last year, outgained the Hawks 458 to 318.