West Chicago received a rude welcome into the Upstate Eight Conference.
Metea Valley beat the visiting Wildcats 47-7 Friday in Aurora. The Mustangs piled on their 14-7 second-quarter lead with a field goal before halftime and 30 unanswered second-half points.
"We came in at halftime and then we wanted to go back out there and finish the job," said Metea Valley coach Ben Kleinhans. "Don't relax, because we're still learning how to win."
Metea Valley (1-2, 1-0) ran for 322 yards and got touchdowns by four different backs -- Jay Parker, Bryson Oliver, quarterback Blaise Bell and Malcolm Nelson, whose 8-yard run and Mike Sfikas' kick initiated a running clock with 9:18 left to play.
Parker's 128 yards on 14 carries gave him three straight games with more than 100 yards rushing to start his senior season. Of course, this one meant more.
"When we lose it's a little bittersweet, but when we come out and we win as a team it means that much more to me, so the guys can feel that victory inside, with me," he said.
West Chicago (0-3, 0-1) looked to counter Metea's first-quarter touchdown -- a 32-yard Bell pass to Nick Dodson -- but a long run by Danny Lazzerini ended with a fumble recovered by Metea's Peyton Mitchell at the Mustangs' 16-yard line. Next time out the Wildcats moved the ball 53 yards when a high shotgun snap stopped the momentum.
"Our kids know what they're supposed to do, they know where they're supposed to go," said West Chicago coach Bill Bicker. "You just see it on film and you can see it during the game, there's opportunities we let slide through our hands."
Metea Valley led 14-0 when West Chicago scored its sole touchdown, a 13-yard Jordan Lelito swing pass to Lazzerini. A 36-yard fly to Lelito's brother, Colin, set that up.
It was West Chicago's first touchdown as a member of the Upstate Eight after switching from the DuPage Valley, where it had been a charter member since 1975.
"It's kind of fun to be able to go against new competition for all nine games instead of just two," Jordan Lelito said. "And it's just fun to be able to go against a different defense and see different looks and find a way to score and find a way to have good offense."
Good clock management by Metea and Sfikas' 36-yard field goal gave Metea a 17-7 halftime lead. Metea opened the floodgates by scoring on five straight second-half possessions. Interceptions by Parker and Kelvin Givantt aided that process.
"We definitely made some adjustments and we got more motivated, especially by the second half," said Metea center and linebacker Matt Fitzgerald.