After being held to 70 yards of total offense by a stout Jacobs defense in the first half, St. Charles East quarterback Jimmy Mitchell knew something had to change.
It did -- and then some.
Mitchell completed just 3 of 12 first-half passes for 32 yards as the Saints trailed 6-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Mitchell looked and acted like a completely different player as he piled up near-perfect statistics, completing 15 of 16 passes for 241 yards and 3 touchdowns to help lead the Saints (2-0) to a 41-26 nonconference triumph over Jacobs (0-2) Friday night in St. Charles.
"In the first half, we couldn't do anything," admitted Mitchell. "At halftime, we talked about going out there and punching them right in the mouth and score on the first drive."
Mitchell rolled out and connected with junior receiver Mo Flanigan (5 catches, 130 yards) for a 36-yard gain on the opening play of the second half.
Five plays later, the senior signalcaller tossed a 4-yard TD pass to tight end Phil Hopper (4 catches, 35 yards) and the Saints grabbed a 7-6 lead.
"That set the tone," said Mitchell. "After that, we couldn't be stopped."
St. Charles East, off to its first 2-0 start in coach Mike Fields' 5 years at the helm, found the end zone on its first 6 second-half possessions.
Junior tailback Ramon Lopez helped celebrate his birthday with the first of his 2 second-half TD runs -- from 3 yards out -- to cap a 2-play, 62-yard drive that was sparked by Mitchell's 59-yard pass to Flanigan.
The score came moments after a Jacobs player had dropped a sure touchdown pass on 4th-and-7 from the Saints' 37-yard line that would have put the Golden Eagles back on top midway through the third quarter.
"The whole momentum of the game changed after that," said Jacobs coach Bill Mitz. "They were hitting us with their bootleg passes and we couldn't stop it."
After Josh Walker (16 carries, 79 yards) scored on an 11-yard run to pull Jacobs within 2 at 14-12 with 5:57 left in the third quarter, the Saints answered with a 7-play 50-yard drive that was capped by Mitchell's 10-yard TD toss to A.J. Washington to extend the lead to 21-12.
"A.J. had a touchdown taken away last week so I had to get him one," Mitchell said of Washington's first career varsity TD reception.
The Saints padded their lead to 34-12 on fourth-quarter touchdowns from Erik Anderson (1-yard run) and Flanigan (6-yard pass from Mitchell).
"It was an ugly first half," admitted Fields, whose team will host St. Charles North (1-1) next week in the annual Crosstown Classic. "In the second half, I think we came out with a little bit of an attitude.
"We were able to get it to our wideouts off of play-action," added Fields.
The Saints spread the wealth offensively, getting contributions from receivers Flanigan, Hopper, Washington, Brannon Barry (5 catches, 64 yards), and running backs Mitch Munroe and Anderson.
"I've got a lot of targets," said Mitchell. "We were in the zone."
Hunter Williams scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns for Jacobs -- on a 68-yard kick return and an 18-yard pass from Bret Mooney (9 of 19, 142 yards).