Buffalo Grove took advantage of Leyden's first-half jitters in posting a 28-14 over the visiting Eagles at Grant Blaney Stadium Friday night.
The Bison (1-0) scored on all three of Leyden's (0-1) first half turnovers in building a 28-0 halftime lead.
"Those turnovers were big," said Bison coach Mike DiMatteo. "The first fumble we scored on was a big momentum shift. When you get the turnovers you have to score."
Miguel Martinez recovered an Eagle fumble on the first play of the game at Leyden's 24-yard line.
Scott Smithern (7 carries, 63 yards) scored from the 7-yard line with 7:44 left in the first quarter and then converted the extra point.
"I think we might have made a statement tonight," said Smithern. "We played them tough on defense sideline to sideline. We studied their defense and we felt we knew how to stop them."
Smithern scored his second touchdown on a 2-yard run with 45 seconds left in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead. The 46-yard drive took three plays with Smithern gaining 35 yards on the first play.
Smithern, though, did not play in the second half due to a back injury but hopes to be ready for next Friday. Quarterback Andrew Apel (13 carries, 111 yard), who scored second-quarter touchdowns of 5 and 67 yards, injured his right shoulder with 6:55 left in the game. He also is expected back against Hoffman Estates next week.
"When you get a fumble like we did early you have to punch it in," said Apel. " This was a confidence builder for us. We didn't execute as well in the second half but we'll be OK."
An interception by Bison cornerback Mario Johnson set up Apel's first score and John Maddox recovered a fumble at the Buffalo Grove 33 setting up Apel's second touchdown.
The Bison rushed for 205 yards but only 25 in the second half.
Leyden played better in the second half with running back Aaron Whigham scoring on touchdown runs of 1 and 17 yards. Whigham finished with 123 yards in 25 carries.
"We have a lot of inexperience," said Eagles coach Tom Cerasani. "In the first half it was us just getting used to playing varsity football. We just have to clean up some things and we'll be ready for next week."
"I was very pleased with our defense," said DiMatteo. "Our defensive coordinators did a good job getting them ready. I like they way they flew around the field going after the ball. We played fast and aggressive. I liked that."