A pregame fireworks show for Elk Grove's homecoming was just the start for the Grenadiers.
The display continued into the first quarter and all the way through the third quarter as Elk Grove rolled to a 48-0 victory over Wheeling at Robert Haskell Stadium in Mid-Suburban East action.
Elk Grove (3-3, 1-1) scored on six of its first seven possessions and mixed in a defensive touchdown to lead 34-0 at half and 48-0 after three quarters, snapping a 3-game losing streak.
"We really needed a game like tonight and our kids did everything that we asked them to do," said Elk Grove coach Larry Calhoun.
Junior quarterback Adam O'Malley wasted little time in lighting up the scoreboard after the Grenadiers forced a punt, scampering 84 yards for a touchdown on Elk Grove's first play from scrimmage.
After scoring on their first possession in last week's loss to Hersey, Elk Grove's offense went cold the rest of the first half. O'Malley made sure that didn't happen again this week when he found junior John Pass for a 22-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 1:24 left in the opening quarter.
"Coming out here and setting the tone early makes (Wheeling) think they can't win," Pass said. "We just kept adding on the points."
O'Malley found Mike Bishoff for a 7-yard score at the start of the second quarter and the Grenadiers increased the advantage to 28-0 when a botched snap and vicious hit by Travon Royal gave Elk Grove the ball at the 1-yard line for Cody Hood to blast into the end zone.
O'Malley added touchdown tosses to Pass (3 catches, 98 yards) and Bishoff in the third quarter and was a perfect 7-for-7 for 146 yards and 4 touchdowns.
"We talked to them about staying hungry and finishing, not being satisfied no matter what the scoreboard had to say," Calhoun said.
"We stressed the whole week to have our senior leaders step up and keep energy and focus the entire game," said lineman Dan Egan, who had a sack and fumble recovery in the first quarter.
Wheeling was unable to take advantage of good field position provided by the kick returns of Sam Yoshino, managing just 93 yards of offense through 3 quarters. The Wildcats converted 2 fourth downs late in the second quarter but Kishan Patel picked off a pass and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown.
Sophomore Isaac Branch finished with 63 yards on 9 carries.
"We were doing things that I can't explain," said Wheeling coach Brent Pearlman. "That comes back to me. This boils down to I'm not getting across to them what I want because we aren't producing."