Senior running back Steven Royster started Rolling Meadows' season with a bang, rushing 52 yards from scrimmage on the game's first play Friday night at York.
The Mustangs didn't let up from there.
In a near-perfect first half of football, Meadows scored touchdowns on its first six possessions in a 42-0 victory over the Dukes in Elmhurst.
"I couldn't be more proud of these guys," said Mustangs coach Matt Mishler after watching his offense roll up 423 yards of offense, 366 of them in the first two quarters.
But the defense was just as impressive. The Meadows unit on "D" allowed the Dukes only 134 yards in pitching a shutout.
"We came out strong, focused, and played our hearts out," said Meadows defensive lineman David Sobkowicz, who had a sack of York quarterback Andrew Iwaszkiewicz.
The touchdowns came fast and furious for the Mustangs in the first quarter as Austin Reed ran 5 yards for a TD and senior quarterback Jack Milas tossed a 50-yard scoring strike to Royster, who then rushed 30 yards for another touchdown.
In the second quarter, Milas fired touchdown passes to Jacob Grant (7 yards) and Matt Campbell (31 yards). Royster finished off the scoring with a 4-yard run, his third TD of the game.
York came up with a couple of big plays in the second half, but unfortunately for the Dukes, both were negated by penalties.
Kyle Stearn's long kickoff return deep into Meadows territory and Iwaszkiewicz's pinpoint touchdown pass to Austin Wagner were both called back due to holding.
Royster finished with 137 yards rushing on only 11 carries, all in the first half.
"Steven is a man," said Mishler. "He played a lot for us last year, but this year he's sharpened his skills, and I'm excited to watch him play."
Milas threw for 216 yards while completing 19 of 25 passes. On the defensive end, senior safety Danny Malnati grabbed a key interception early in the contest.
"You never know how your first game is going to turn out," said Mishler. "Everybody, even my own family, was asking me how I'd thought we'd do tonight.
I couldn't really answer that, but I was confident, and I did know one thing -- we were prepared."
Meadows lineman Chris Moreno echoed his coach's sentiments.
"We've been practicing hard," said the senior, "and we came out with a positive attitude. After last year's game (a wild Mustangs 50-49 win over the Dukes), we came out with the mindset that we didn't want to allow them a single point."