There's a theory that football teams learn the most about themselves between Week 1 and Week 2.
For Fenton, it just took an extra half.
The Bison's halftime adjustment to smashmouth football powered them to Saturday's 38-13 nonconference victory over Walther Christian Academy in Melrose Park.
Behind a punishing offensive line and two lead blockers, senior running back Alex Cowan scored three of his 5 touchdowns in the second half, including his final score on a 59-yard punt return. Fenton's physical dominance turned a precarious 12-6 halftime lead into a 35-6 advantage after three quarters.
Cowan ran for 63 of his 120 yards on 9 carries in the second half to account for all 9 of Fenton's third-quarter offensive plays. After quarterback Willie Wassmann completed 4 of 5 passes for 67 yards in the first half, the Bison (1-1) didn't attempt a second-half pass.
With the massive push up front, there was no need.
"Following (lead blockers) Tommy Corona and Matt Lucas, I just had to lower my shoulder and go," said Cowan, who scored one touchdown after somehow keeping a play alive and scored another after a nifty spin move past two defenders.
"The line got a much better push in the second half," he said. "I had huge holes to follow through."
Walther (0-2) started the game strong with a 13-play, 91-yard drive that spanned more than nine minutes. The Broncos led 6-0 after D.J. Walton's 22-yard scoring run.
Fenton tied it 6-6 on its next possession with Cowan's 32-yard run, and then he added a 14-yard scamper to make it a 12-6 lead for Fenton. A 50-yard pass put Walther in position to score at the end of the half, but Fenton's Alex Williams snared an interception to preserve the 12-6 lead -- the first of three picks on the day for Fenton.
"We always kind of have a slower start, and we knew we had to pick it up and play some hard-nose football," said Fenton linebacker Phil Espinoza. "We just kept on our blocks and kept driving them."
Fenton pulled away by scoring on its first three second-half possessions, capped by Griffin Idelman's 19-yard field goal that increased the margin to 38-6. Walton finished the day's scoring with a 21-yard touchdown run for the Broncos.
"We made a little halftime adjustment and went back to something we worked on all week fundamentally," said Fenton coach Mark Kos. "The power look worked out for us."
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