The South Elgin football team showed Saturday afternoon its offense can be multidimensional.
Jeff Broger rushed for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first quarter and Robert Cuda threw 4 second-half touchdown passes as the Storm beat Downers Grove South, 48-35, in the season-opener in South Elgin.
"We rode (Broger) in the first half and we just had have the kids get a feel (for the game)," Storm coach Dale Schabert said. "Cuda got a little time to settle in. What a half. Rob started making plays."
After the Mustangs fumbled on their first offensive play, Broger had rushes of 17 and 6 yards to find the end zone for the first time with 9:27 left in the first quarter. The extra point was missed as South Elgin took a 6-0 lead.
Downers Grove South responded with a halfback option pass from Brian Spain to Kaylon Miller for a 66-yard score and a 7-6 lead. It was the first of four touchdowns for Miller.
Broger broke a 24-yard touchdown run with 1:52 remaining in the first quarter. Cuda hit Joe Crivolio for the 2-point conversion and a 14-7 lead.
It stayed that way until the second half and both offenses got going. Mike Zebold came in to quarterback the Mustangs and hit Miller for a 63-yard touchdown on the second offensive play of the third quarter to tie the game.
After a South Elgin fumble, LeDevin Smith gave Downers Grove South a 20-14 lead on a 4-yard run with 7:58 left in the third quarter.
Cuda answered three plays later by connecting with John Stanko for a 29-yard score as the Storm took a 21-20 lead. Zebold hit Miller for a 70-yard score and Spain ran in the 2-point conversion for a 28-21 DGS lead with 6:27 left in the third.
South Elgin scored on its next three possessions. Cuda hit Tyler Christensen for a 3-yard score. The junior quarterback then hit Crivolio for an 18-yard score and Christopher Bingham added a 7-yard touchdown run with 6:12 left in the game for a 41-28 South Elgin lead.
"We kept fighting back as a team," Cuda said. "The line really helped me out giving me time in the pocket."
Miller had an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 6:00 left to get the Mustangs within 6, 41-35. But the Storm sealed the victory with a 27-yard strike from Cuda to Crivolio on a fourth-and-4 play with 42.8 seconds remaining.
"We never stopped them on defense. That's the bottom line," Mustangs coach John Belskis said. "We made too many mistakes everywhere."
Zebold threw for 175 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the second half. Miller finished with five catches for 206 yards. Spain had 109 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Cuda was 16-of-30 passing for 250 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Crivolio had seven catches for 122 yards, all in the second half. Broger struggled with cramping issues in the second half and finished with 160 yards rushing on 19 carries.
"The first half was a little rough," Crivolio said. "Second half we got it going and it turned out to be a victory."