Luther North's Sean Chapman was scheduled to be the Wildcats' quarterback for his senior year. But rookie head coach Ricky Ludwig knew he had to shore up the offensive and defensive lines.
Putting Chapman in the trenches was a logical move. After all, he stands 6-foot 3 and weighs 200 pounds.
Chapman proved to be dominant on both sides of the ball in the Wildcats' 40-0 triumph over visting Christian Liberty on Saturday in a Northeast Athletic Conference opener in Chicago.
At defensive end, Chapman had 8 tackles (3 for losses) and blocked a punt which he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter.
"We came out for the 'W,' and we got what we wanted," said Chapman. "For the first game on the line I think I played pretty good."
Chargers (0-1) coach Jim Calkins could not say the same about his team.
"We had way too many fumbles (6 fumbles, lost 3) and that's something we didn't see in practice," said Calkins. "In the second half our sweeps worked pretty well and that's kind of what we had to practice today."
The Chargers were hurt when running back/linebacker Dan Glad missed most of the game due to injuries.
Luther North (1-0), which lost last year's season finale to Christian Liberty for the Chargers' first school win, scored with 6:24 left in the first quarter.
Anthony Vega slipped through the defense to cap an 80-yard drive in three plays with a 64-yard run to put Luther North up 8-0.
A James Mazzone interception then set up quarterback James Cunningham's 11 yard run with 4:07 left in the first quarter and a 14-0 lead.
Chapman's blocked punt and recovery in the end zone, to go with Andrew Giourdas' 11-yard pass from Cunningham, gave Luther North a 28-0 halftime lead.
"Chapman, (Felix) Loja, and Giourdas were really tough on us with their defense," said Calkins. "On offense they would start inside and then bounce outside and we couldn't stop them."
The Wildcats finished with 202 yards of offense with 174 coming on the ground in 35 attempts. The Chargers were held to minus-12 yards at halftime finished with 15 yards of offense.
J.D. Dulinksy led Christian Liberty with 44 yards on 8 carries.
Jacob Ortiz (32-yard run) and Devin Jenkins (1-yard run) scored for Luther North in the second half.
"We told our players that Christian Liberty's team was similar to ours," Ludwig. "We knew what we had to do on defnese. Last year they hurt us with misdirection plays. Chapman was going to be the quarterback again but when we tried him on the line, he just blew people away."