Warren's new high-powered offense does a nice job of controlling the air space above the football field.
During Friday's 59-10 victory at Libertyville, the Blue Devils had a pair of 100-yard receivers who made for some big targets -- 6-foot-2 senior Zack Rappel and 6-2, 220-pound junior Caleb Reams.
The relative shrimp of the group. 6-1 senior Javon Charleston, settled for 64 receiving yards, but did leap high to pull in a touchdown pass late in the first half. Those three combined to help quarterback Andrew Nickell pile up 338 passing yards.
"It's fun spreading it around," Rappel said. "Everyone gets involved. It keeps the other team off-balance. Then with our passing game and our receiving, we can run the ball."
Another phenomenon for Warren in this game was the extreme big play. The Devils' first two touchdowns came on an 86-yard run by Cedric Sanders and an 87-yard reception by Reams.
"We have a lot of great athletes," Nickell said. "We've got a lot of guys that can definitely bring it to the house at any point in the game. It's definitely something special we've got going."
Warren's offensive line of Matt Bloom, Joe Zumpano, Sawyer McCaffrey, Tom Steen and Matt Doljanin had a nice night as the Devils finished with 660 yards of total offense.
This game was competitive through most of the first half. Warren clung to a 13-10 edge until scoring 3 touchdowns in the final 3:09 of the first half. Then the Blue Devils tacked on two late scores on an interception return and fumble recovery in the end zone.
"We got a couple breaks there," Warren coach Dave Mohapp said. "We didn't expect this game to go like this at all."
Libertyville got on the board first when quarterback Tony Monken hit sophomore speedster Riley Lees for a 63-yard touchdown pass.
After the two 80-yard scores, a field goal by John Lubenow brought the Wildcats within 13-10 early in the second quarter before Warren broke it open. First, Sanders (10 carries, 134 yards) capped a short drive with a 6-yard run. Then the Devils drove 65 yards in 4 plays, with Nickell hitting Rappel on a slant that turned into a 40-yard score.
An interception by Kevin Richter set up a quick 76-yard drive in the final minute. Nickell found Rappel for a 36-yard bomb, then Charleston made a leaping catch in the end zone to make it 32-10 with 10.1 seconds left before intermission.
"Snowballed," said Monken, who threw for 203 yards. "I made some very bad reads, tried to force too many in there and set our defense up for failure. We've just got to bounce back. Do what we can to get prepared next week for Mundelein."
Warren (4-1, 2-1) made the transition to a spread offense a couple years ago. After some early growing pains, it's working well now.
"He (Mohapp) understands that the game's changing," Rappel said. "We keep it balanced. When the run game's working, we run it. When the pass game's working, we pass it."