The Hampshire High School football team earned a 46-20 win over host Grayslake Central in each team's Fox Valley Conference Fox Division opener Friday on the first night of the season where the temperature dipped under 60.
The weather and the win started to bring back a familiar feeling for Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh.
"Yeah, it's starting to feel like football," said Cavanaugh.
The Whip-Purs' offense certainly had a feel for the game as they amassed 458 total yards, 299 of which came on the ground.
Senior Kyle Anderson led the way for Hampshire (2-1) with 90 yards rushing and 159 yards through the air. It was the exact start to conference play he had hoped for.
"It was great, coming off last year we had a rough start, so coming out and getting this win right away should really boost our morale," Anderson said. "We came out hitting hard."
Hampshire came out fast too, scoring on its third play from scrimmage on a 58-yard pitch and catch from Anderson to Patrick Kuefner on a long 3rd-and-six. Kuefner would end up with 2 catches for 142 yards, 83 yards rushing on 3 carries and 3 touchdowns.
The Rams (1-2) responded with a 65-yard drive capped off by a 2-yard dive for a touchdown by Tyler Gustke.
Hampshire scored four unanswered touchdowns heading into halftime, two of which came from Anderson on runs of 38 and 9 yards respectively.
"We just kept on moving the ball," Anderson said. "We had control up on the line and we just kept punching it. Our offensive line was just sticking people tonight."
Grayslake Central's offense slowed until the third quarter when Kacey Adams caught fire. The junior running back scored consecutive 62-yard touchdowns. The first was one of Ram quarterback Alex Lennartz's 3 completions, the second was a sprint down the middle of the field.
"We were just trying to go out there and do our assignments," said Adams. "We came out in the first quarter a little flat. In the fourth we came out more focused and dialed in.
"I feel good (about the scores) but at the same time I feel like I could have done more because we still didn't win the game."
Adams would have a team-high 62 yards receiving on 1 catch and 72 yards rushing on 6 carries.
"Kacey is another junior, he's a track star," said Rams coach Ben Ault. "He's a kid who's a real athlete. When we get him the ball in space he can do a lot of things."
Philip LaPointe had a game-high 139 yards rushing on 20 carries and scored a touchdown for Hampshire. The bruising back did most of his work plowing through the middle of the Rams' defense.
Next week Hampshire will try to hold onto that football feeling when it hosts undefeated Cary-Grove. Grayslake Central will travel to Woodstock.