The first five minutes in Elmhurst on Friday night put an exclamation point on another outstanding football regular season for IC Catholic Prep.
Nineteen plays into the Metro Suburban Blue championship clincher, the Knights had already scored four touchdowns in an eventual 62-7 victory over Fenton.
Extending its winning streak to seven games, all of which have come via the running clock, IC improved to 8-1 on the fall as the Knights get set to begin their state title defense next week.
"We have had a lot of people coming back from injuries," said senior quarterback C.J. West, who threw for 309 yards and 5 touchdowns in just 15 minutes of game action, "and everything is just clicking right now. But next week is a new season for us and we have to act like it's a new season and get ready for practice on Monday."
The home team threw a knockout punch early, scoring just over a minute in on a 38-yard pass from West to Khalil Saunders. A 17-yard interception return for a touchdown by Kemon Reese two plays later increased the margin to 14-0 before a fumble recovery by Saunders on the subsequent play from scrimmage was followed by the junior hauling in a 44-yard strike.
"We wanted to come out strong and send a good message going into the playoffs," said sophomore linebacker Kevin Cooke, the leading tackler on the team. "The coaches put in a good game plan and we were able to execute it at the beginning."
West, who completed 12-of-15 attempts, found Lazerick Eatman for a 27-yard score to make the score 27-0 and later threw a pair of touchdowns to Khali Saunders.
The visiting Bison (2-7, 0-5) got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter on an 18-yard pass from Kyle Cacioppo to Carlos Mercado, who hauled in 10 receptions in the first half for 142 yards.
IC also received a 20-yard TD run from Kyle Franklin and a pair of scoring scampers in the second half by backup quarterback Tom Ryan. Jacob Lytton and Andrew Falduto had interceptions for IC, while Cesar Bermudez picked off a pass for Fenton.
"The kids did what we asked," said IC coach Bill Krefft, whose team has won three league titles in a row. "We talked about starting fast and finishing the game and they did that. They came out and did the little things.
"The kids before the game were extremely focused. They looked at the game like it was the conference championship game. That makes us the outright champions, which was our first goal. The next goal is to start over and focus on getting better."