Nazareth quarterback Sam Poulos has been waiting a longtime for the class of 2012 and 2013 to finally combine forces on a varsity football field
Poulos' long wait came to an end Saturday as Nazareth rolled to a 17-0 home win over Benet in the season opener.
"We have the highest expectations for this team and this year," Polous said.
Mental errors set Benet back early, and the Redwings were never able to recover.
Late in the first quarter, Nazareth took full advantage of a mental lapse by the Redwings defense. On fourth and 4 the Redwings jumped offsides on a hard snap count to give Nazareth a first and 10 on the Benet 16-yard line.
"They have a lot of experience, we don't have any," said Benet coach Pat New. "With inexperience you tend to make those rookie mistakes."
The Roadrunners capitalized on the next play from scrimmage when Poulos found fullback Andrew Bartucci for a 16-yard touchdown pass.
"It was a good play for us," Poulos said. "It makes my job easier when the team blocks like that."
Costly Benet penalties continued in the closing minutes of the first half as the Roadrunners pieced together a methodical drive. The drive gained traction when the Benet secondary was flagged for pass interference on a key third down near midfield.
Polous and the Roadrunners once again jumped all over the chance to take advantage of a Benet error.
Nazareth displayed savvy clock management and marched the ball down to the Benet 15-yard line. With time expiring at the end of the second quarter, Roadrunner kicker Matthew Ramsey drilled a 27-yard field goal to put his squad up two scores.
Nazareth led 10-0 at halftime.
Benet's first drive of the second half looked promising but ended quickly with an interception by Nazareth senior Phillip Gaspari.
With just more than two minutes left in the third quarter Nazareth senior Joseph DeSimone stepped up to make the biggest play of the Roadrunners' young season. DeSimone stepped in front of a Benet pass and picked it off near midfield.
After picking up a significant amount of blocks along the way he was able to take it all the way back for the touchdown.
The interception was caused by a flurry of Nazareth defenders collapsing the pocket and giving little time for Benet quarterback Kevin Weller to gain proper footing on the pass.
"I think a lot of it is just getting experience and getting our feet wet," New said.