The South Elgin football team gave the first on-campus home crowd in school history an afternoon to remember with a 33-0 victory over previously unbeaten Metea Valley Saturday.
It was a day the Mustangs would prefer to forget entirely.
Metea Valley started well enough in the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division tilt, stopping South Elgin's initial drive at the 1-yard line when linebacker Donovan Rowsey and lineman Zach Wood stuffed Storm running back Adolfo Pacheco for no gain on fourth down.
Metea Valley (3-1, 1-1) took over and quarterback Jarrett House completed 4 of 7 pass attempts on the ensuing 55-yard drive. However, he was injured trying to throw a pass on fourth-and-14 from the South Elgin 44-yard line. As the pocket collapsed Storm defensive lineman Devonte Greene wrestled House to the ground awkwardly.
House was carried off the field with a knee injury and did not return. Backup quarterback Peyton Mitchell was thrust into action, but the stunned Mustangs were never effective again offensively against a fired-up South Elgin defense. They managed only 97 total yards after House left the game and were outgained 328-152 overall.
"Well, you lose your starting quarterback the first series of the game and it changes the whole equation, that's for sure," Metea Valley coach Ted Monken said. "We still didn't play well enough to win."
"I put a lot of it on me," said Mitchell, who completed 3 of 12 attempts for 33 yards and was intercepted once, "but we still have to go out there and perform."
South Elgin's offense got rolling on its next possession. The Storm needed only 5 plays to cover 56 yards, capped by a 33-yard scamper up the right sideline by speedy quarterback Zach Gross, who rushed for 83 yards and 2 scores on 13 attempts.
"We had a blitz breaker on and I just saw everyone pile up in the middle so I took it outside," Gross said. "Adolfo made a great block for me around the corner and I just took off."
Pacheco found the end zone possessions later on a 10-yard run, thanks to a strong second effort. Pacheco was a force throughout the game. He carried 27 times for 137 yards, upping his 4-game yardage total to 619 on 82 carries (7.5 avg.). David Reisner's extra point made it 14-0 in favor of South Elgin with 4:50 left in the second quarter.
The Storm took a 17-0 lead to the halftime locker room when Reisner connected on a 28-yard field goal with 1.6 seconds left.
Gross put the Storm ahead 24-0 midway through the third quarter when he connected with 6-foot-2 junior receiver Joe Crivolio on a 13-yard pass.
Metea Valley fumbled on the next play from scrimmage and Greene recovered, which led to a 32-yard field goal by Reisner.
The Storm defense held Metea running backs Tre'sean Mackey and Cameron Wilcox to 57 combined rushing yards on 15 carries.
"I know their quarterback went out, but I thought our defensive pressure controlled the line of scrimmage pretty well," South Elgin coach Dale Schabert said. "(House's injury) doesn't change your running game. I thought our defensive front -- those D linemen and linebackers -- did a really good job in there.
"We all work together and everything we do we do together," Greene said. "It's a team effort and I'm happy to be a part of this defense."
A 15-yard run by Gross rounded out the scoring for South Elgin (2-2, 2-0), which has won two straight after an 0-2 start to the season.