If the offense continues to click like it did on Friday night, St. Viator is going to be a tough team to stop.
The Lions' balanced, up-tempo offense amassed 515 yards to propel host St. Viator to a 41-15 victory over Deerfield.
Viator senior quarterback Bobby Calmeyn was the perfect point man against the Warriors. He completed 29-of-45 passes for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns. Calmeyn completed passes to 7 different receivers and connected with Ben Dickey, Matthew Darling, Michael Piet and Joe Faerber 5 or more times each.
The Lions (2-0) had tremendous success with short, quick passing routes, especially early in the game. Once the Warriors (1-1) tried to adjust by tightening up their secondary, then St. Viator started to stretch the field with longer passes.
"We like to do the quick game," Calmeyn said. "We preach it in practice. The coaches say to take what they give us. We took it. Then they started coming up, so we hit the deep passes."
Dickey was on the receiving end of most of the long passes. He finished with 6 catches for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns.
"I think the chemistry started really from last year," Dickey said of the rhythm he has with Calmeyn. "We got to know each other really well last year. We had two senior receivers, but I thought we had a really good bond last year."
Often Calmeyn would throw the ball to an area of the field instead of directly to Dickey. On a couple of occasions it looked like this would result in a Deerfield interception, but Dickey appeared seemingly from nowhere to snag the pass in stride.
"He knows where I'm going to be," Dickey said. "I know how to find open spots for him to throw. And I know he's going to give me the ball. Every time I am open, I know he's going to give me the ball."
St. Viator's fast-paced no-huddle offense did not have a negative impact on the Warriors in the eyes of Deerfield coach Steve Winiecki, but he did admit that sometimes it affected the defenses he was able to call.
"It keeps you a little vanilla," Winiecki said. "You can't get exotic with your blitz game and stuff like that. But we knew they were going to go at a high tempo. We practiced at a high tempo. We also missed some tackles. It's a good team. They did a good job."
Not to be lost in the offensive prowess of the Lions was a solid defensive effort. St. Viator allowed only 237 total yards. In the second and third quarters combined the Lions surrendered 55 yards and 2 first downs.
Running back Landen Hinds (18 carries, 90 yards, 1 touchdown), running back Alec Frank (16 carries, 61 yards), and quarterback Benjamin Ethridge (8 carries, 54 yards) paced the Warriors' offense.
"It's always going to take a series or two to get adjusted to the other team's speed," St. Viator coach Brandon New said. "Because they are going to be so much better at running their offense than you are going to be able to simulate in practice. Obviously you don't want them to drive and score, but I kind of expect that first series it's going to take a few more plays to, hopefully, try to stop them."
Next up, St. Viator takes on perennial powerhouse Joliet Catholic, a team the school has never beaten.
"They are tremendous," New said of Joliet Catholic. "Those boys play so hard. They're tough, big kids, and they always seem to have an unbelievable back."
If the St. Viator offense is clicking like it was on Friday night, the game against Joliet Catholic should be very entertaining.
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