Once Huntley turned Eric Mooney loose, it was all over.
The Red Raider quarterback scored on 3 long runs -- on 3 consecutive carries -- to lead Huntley past Hampshire, 49-7, in Fox Valley Conference action in Hampshire Friday night.
For most of the first half, the Raiders were content to grind it out offensively, taking a 21-0 lead on a pair of short runs by Carter Beaudette and an interception return by Charlie Zornow.
After Hampshire cut the deficit to 21-7 1:23 before halftime, the Raiders turned to their tailback turned quarterback. After the Hampshire score, Mooney completed 2 short passes, then did the rest himself. He ran 38 yards for a score, cutting it back inside after he appeared to be heading out of bounds, to give Huntley back the momentum heading into halftime.
It was more of the same in the second half: the Raiders' first 2 possessions ended with TD runs of 65 and 41 yards by Mooney. In all, the 3 drives covered 167 yards in 6 plays. And Mooney had 3 straight carries for 144 yards. He finished with 181 yards on just 11 attempts.
"Mooney's got great vision," said Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak. "Right now he's just a little hesitant to take it himself. We kind of loosened the reins on him to allow him to make those reads and take the ball himself. He's doing a great job."
Mooney gave the credit to his line.
"All three times I didn't really get touched," he said. "I made a couple of moves and made a couple of people miss, but our offensive line was just dominating. Every snap there were at least two people on their backs."
It wasn't just Mooney who found big holes. Beaudette finished with 84 yards on 19 carries and Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu added 87 yards and a touchdown on just 8 tries.
Huntley's defense did its part, too, intercepting Hampshire quarterback Jacob Vincent 4 times. Caleb Jones had a pair of sacks as well.
Vincent completed 19 of 35 for 186 yards. Hampshire's lone touchdown came late in the first half when Vincent lofted one to Erik Starrenburg in the end zone. The 6-foot-2 Starrenburg went up and took the ball away from a pair of defenders.
Mooney's touchdown just before halftime was a backbreaker, according to Hampshire coach Mike Brasile.
"We started believing just before half, and then they get the ball back with a minute and something left and go down and score, and I think a lot of the wind went out of our sails," he said. "We come back after halftime and don't move the ball."