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Dragan Teonic likes to think of himself as a glass half-full type of guy.
So even though the scoreboard was weighted heavily against Larkin's football team Saturday afternoon, the new Royals' head coach was realistic and positive after his first game at Memorial Field.
"We are young and we are inexperienced," Teonic said. "We played 10-12 sophomores and 11 seniors and that's it. There's some growth to be had but we had a lot of growth during the game. We did things better. The scoreboard doesn't show that but as we figure things out the scoreboard will show that."
What the scoreboard showed Saturday was McHenry 61, Larkin 12. The experienced Warriors, who figure on contending for the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title, got 3 touchdowns and 86 yards rushing from Alec Glauser and racked up 510 total yards, 352 on the ground from eight different ball carriers.
"There were a lot of nerves and jitters and that's to be expected," Teonic said.
McHenry, which beat Larkin for the fourth straight year, never punted and never turned the ball over on downs. The Warriors scored on all nine of their possessions, jumping out to a 15-0 lead that became 22-6 by the end of the first quarter and 42-6 by halftime. After Efran Lemus scored on a 16-yard run with 5:16 left in the third quarter to make it 54-12, the running clock rule took affect.
Lemus had 3 touchdowns for the Warriors, who got an efficient game from quarterback Michael Briscoe. He was 4 of 5 for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns and also ran 5 times for 27 yards.
"Michael Briscoe is a great leader," said McHenry coach Dave D'Angelo. "He took control of the offense and a lot of credit goes to the offensive line. We wanted to spread it out and establish the run and we did that today. I'm just really pleased with our first effort."
"McHenry played hard and played good technically sound football," Teonic said. "That's an experienced team and they played well."
Larkin was not without its bright moments.
Down 15-0, the Royals put together an 8-play, 60-yard drive that culminated with junior quarterback Elijah Hernandez scoring from 4 yards out with 6 minutes left in the first quarter. Larkin scored its second touchdown with 11:34 left in the third quarter when the football squirted out of Hernandez's hands and was picked up by junior Deshawn Steward, who ran in from 44 yards out.
Other than that, though, Larkin struggled to do much offensively. The Royals managed just 159 total yards in the game, but did get 4 quality receptions from junior AJ Hunter for 86 yards.
"I believe in them," Teonic said of his team. "They're showing a lot of growth and a lot of the guys are doing the right things but our depth is going to be an issue. We've got a long ways to go to get to where we want to be. Sometimes the immediate is not what you want it to be. It's just gonna take some time to get there. Now we have to focus on getting better for next week."
The Royals host Vernon Hills on Friday night at Memorial. The Cougars opened the season with a 33-14 loss to DeKalb.