Like a coming attraction in a movie theater, the Metea Valley football team gave a preview of what it was capable of Friday night before lightning suspended its season-opening game at home against Plainfield North.
But when the contest resumed almost 24 hours later, the Mustangs lived up to that teaser, rolling 45-28.
Metea Valley coach Ben Kleinhans said the delay was a challenge for his team as it cooled its momentum that was heating up early.
"We were ready to go up 14-0 and put them back on their heels and then the weather came. It was huge to score right away (Saturday)," he said.
On Friday night, the Mustangs scored on the game's first drive as Bryson Oliver capped an 8-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard trip into the end zone. Oliver was responsible for 68 of the drive's yards.
The Tigers got their first shot at the ball and got off just two plays before Metea's Reggie Hill intercepted a pass and the Mustangs took over at their own 39. Metea was on the Plainfield North 15 when the game was suspended at about 7:54 p.m. due to lightning and called for the night about 45 minutes later.
When play resumed Saturday, Oliver hit end zone on the first play. It was his second of four touchdowns for the contest and he racked up a game-high 280 yards.
The Mustangs showed the ability to put the ball in the air when needed as shown by Kyle Mooney's 63-yard pass to Nick Dodson, one of four Metea scores in the first quarter.
Oliver said Metea's ability to be multi-dimensional on offense is crucial in a season in which the team has high expectations.
"It's awesome for our offense. I can run up the middle. Our line is great and Kyle can throw and loosen up coverage," he said. "This feels great. We've been looking forward to (the new season) since October. We put in a lot of practice over the summer."
Plainfield North opened its offense as shown by Quintin Hoosman scoring twice in the game on a 44-yard run and a 73-yard gain. Mooney said the team is stressing this season that the key is to not let one bad play turn into several.
"Last year we would let a bad play become like a domino effect. We're stressing now that if a bad play happens, focus on the next play," he said.
Besides Hill's interception, Metea got other key defensive plays, including Ron Edwards' 35-yard interception for a touchdown and fumble recovery along with a fumble recovery from Grady Raines.
The Mustangs take to the road for the first time Friday with a game at Glenbrook South. Kleinhans said the keys to Metea being successful are pretty basic.
"We just have to have good senior leadership and a good daily approach and need to always be focused," he said. "What's also important is developing a winning culture and expecting to win."