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St. Charles East football coach Mike Fields called his team's season opener "a tale of two halves."
The Saints tallied 203 of their 315 total yards in the first half, and host South Elgin racked up 236 of its 284 total yards in the second half.
Luckily for the visitors, a 28-0 halftime lead was able to hold up as the Saints defeated the Storm 35-27 in the nonconference matchup Saturday afternoon.
With good field position, East was able to jump out to a 14-0 less than four minutes into the game.
Honoring Saints' senior Mitch Munroe's father Scott, who passed away over the summer, East's first play from scrimmage led to a touchdown when quarterback Jimmy Mitchell threw a pass to Erik Anderson who in turn pitched the ball back to Munroe who ran down the right side of the field untouched for a 43-yard score.
"We called that Scott's play, and we worked on it a lot," Fields said. "We wanted that for Mitch, and I really thought Scott was looking down on us today. It was executed perfectly."
Munroe (106 receiving yards) also caught a 13-yard TD pass from Mitchell for the final score of the first half. Mitchell added TD passes of 5 yards and 23 yards to Brannon Barry and Morgan Flanigan respectively in the first half.
Mitchell finished 21-for-33 with 272 passing yards, and he hit Barry from 36 yards out in the final minute of the third quarter for the Saints' final score of the game and a 35-7 lead.
"If you put a target out 40 yards away from Jimmy, he'll hit it 10 out of 10 times," Barry said. "He gets along great with all of the receivers, and he did a great job today."
It was Patrik Pistorio's inaugural game as the Storm's head coach, and although the final result wasn't what he wanted he saw his squad fight back with 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
South Elgin QB Rob Cuda (15-for-34, 301 yards) threw 3 touchdown passes and caught another on a trick play. Tyler Christensen caught an 86-yard TD pass early in the third quarter and added a 6-yard TD grab for the final score of the game, and Andrew Kamienski caught a 13-yard TD pass in the fourth.
Cuda's TD catch came from 8 yards out when he pitched the snap to Nick Menken, who in turn threw the TD pass.
"Definitely that second half told me that my kids have a bunch of moxy," Pistorio said. "After that first half, we knew we had to fight back. I was happy with the fight, but we have a lot of work to do."
East's defense forced 3 turnovers including interceptions from Scott Roback and Jon Finn, and Michael Candre had 4 sacks.
"It feels amazing to get that first win," Candre said. "You get that first win, and you feel pretty good. I think we're just going to keep getting better."