Friday night was a festive night at Dick Kerner Stadium on the Waubonsie Valley campus. It was senior night with the Warriors taking on District 204 and cross-town rival Metea Valley.
However, Warriors coach Paul Murphy wanted his team to be all business, and that's what happened. Waubonsie jumped out to a 35-0 lead en route to a 41-14 win to finish the regular season 8-1 and 5-1 in the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division.
"Tonight we just wanted to get the win and finish 8-1. And that pretty much guarantees a home playoff game next week," Murphy said.
The team is focused going into the postseason, and last year's first-round exit where the top-seeded Warriors fell to 16th-seeded Belleville East continues as a reminder.
"It feels great going into the playoffs at 8-1. But we can't take anyone lightly," said senior Austin Guido.
Guido paced the Waubonsie offense against the Mustangs with 4 touchdowns and 223 rushing yards on 18 carries.
Like most successful running backs, Guido gives much credit to the Warriors' offensive line.
"My line opens every hole. Without them I don't know what I would do," he said.
Also hitting end zone for Waubonsie were Kyle Neese on a 53-yard run in the second quarter and Andrew White returned an interception 49 yards on the final play of the game.
"Austin has great vision. He runs downhill. If he can take the front door, he'll take it. If he can take the back door, he will. He may not be right all the time, but he is the majority of the time," Murphy said.
The Waubonsie coach is happy that the Warriors have the type of offense that allows it to change as the situation develops during a game.
"We have enough flexibility in our offense that we can find out what the defense wants to give us and take advantage of that," he said.
An example of that was the Warriors' first touchdown that came on the first drive of the game. Guido gained 13 yards on the first two plays. Then came a draw play for Demario Webb, and he sprinted 59 yards down to the Mustangs 6. Two plays later, Guido ran it in from the 3 for his first touchdown.
The top offensive player for Metea (2-7, 1-5) was senior running back Cameron Wilcox, who rushed for 175 yards on 19 carries, including Metea's second touchdown on an 80-yard run. Junior quarterback Blaise Bell threw a 25-yard pass to Alex Hagemaster for the Mustangs' first score.
"We grew even if we the seniors didn't reap the benefits. I know we made progress and I think we'll be good the next few seasons under these coaches," said Mustangs senior linebacker Jake Murawski.