Proviso East started fast and finished fast.
The Pirates scored at the beginning and end of each half on their way to a 48-6 triumph over host Willowbrook on Friday night.
"It's how are you going to react from here," said Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth. "We have to learn from this and make sure we are playing for each other."
Langdon Johnson scored on a 34-yard run on the Pirates' third play from scrimmage. But from there the Warriors' defense held firm, allowing only a touchdown with 1:04 left in the first half that was set up by a Proviso East interception.
The second half, however, was littered with big plays from Proviso East. Langdon Johnson hit Willowbrook with another long touchdown run, sandwiched between two Taeveon Johnson long touchdown receptions.
"Defensively, we show flashes here and there, but then we have letdowns in one or two spots and that opens things up," Hildreth said.
Turnovers doomed the Warriors throughout the game as their quarterbacks combined to throw six interceptions. One set up the Pirates in the red zone with less than two minutes left in the first half and the last one was returned by Roosevelt McNeil 85 yards for a touchdown to finish the game.
"Our inexperience shows in different ways each week," Hildreth said. "Different quarterbacks had opportunities and we turned the ball over. You can't do that, and they did a good job capitalizing."
Dom Battaglia did all he could to try to keep the hosts in the game on their Homecoming, splitting time between quarterback and running back. The junior threw for 102 yards and scored Willowbrook's lone touchdown on a tough 9-yard run to open the fourth quarter, cutting the Pirate lead to 27-6.
"It's about our team giving 100 percent on every play," Battaglia said. "If we don't go 100 percent, we aren't going to do well. They're a good team, but we didn't come out to play."
Robert Enescu added 57 hard-earned yards on the ground, but every time the Warriors offense got going, turnovers and penalties stalled their drives.
"We moved the ball a little bit offensively, but we couldn't capitalize and finish drives," Hildreth said. "It goes back to part of our inexperience and the process of still installing things."
Pirates running back Ryan Jones also had a 74-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, part of his 159-yard night.
"We always say family when we break, and we aren't showing that," Battaglia said. "We need to trust each other."