Waubonsie Valley football coach Paul Murphy wouldn't have been off base if he had let loose with a celebratory "Yeah, baby!" after watching his Austins specifically middle linebacker Austin Lacke and running back Austin Guido power the Warriors to a 34-14 nonconference victory over visiting Oswego on Friday night that made them 2-0 for the first time in Murphy's seven years at the school.
Lacke paced a Warriors defense that, after a tentative start, put the clamps on highly regarded Oswego quarterback during a pivotal 15-minute stretch that spanned the second and third quarters, while Guido tallied a personal-best 4 touchdowns to pace an offense that rolled up 577 total yards, 238 on the ground and 239 in the air.
Lacke had the first chance to alter the game's momentum. After Oswego (0-2) capped a 70-yard game-opening drive with Mickell Stewart's 1-yard touchdown plunge, the Panthers were knocking on the door again as West's 13-yard pass to Brett Wainwright put the ball on the Waubonsie 1-yard line. But the Warriors sacked West on three consecutive snaps from that spot once each by Lacke, Tommy Wooten and Andrew White and then forced a fourth-down incompletion to turn the ball over. After throwing for 136 yards at that juncture, West would not complete another pass until less than nine minutes remained in the third quarter.
"It was bend, don't break," Lacke said. "Our defensive line and outside linebackers, Tommy Wooten and Greg Smith, really stepped up, and our corners and safeties really started covering their receivers."
"Our whole thing was not to panic," Murphy added. "Their first drive was a test of our character. After that we got a feel for their rhythm and we adjusted to what they could do."
After gaining the momentum, it was Guido's turn to capitalize on it. On the second play after the big stop, he took a screen pass from Mitch Stefani and rumbled 74 yards for the game-tying touchdown.
"I just waited for their linemen to get in, released, waited for my three linemen to block for me and just followed them," Guido said. "I saw the cutback lane and just took to the end zone."
With West and Panthers stifled at that point, the Warriors offense took command. Their next drive ended with Stefani's 38-yard touchdown toss to Demitrious Gray for a 14-7 halftime lead and they stretched the advantage to 20-7 on Guido's 3-yard score on the first drive of the third quarter. West, who finished with 342 passing yards, did begin to find the range again at that point, with his 63-yard hookup with Wainwright setting up his 1-yard score on fourth down to make it 20-14, but Guido added scoring runs of 21 and 1 yard after that to sew up the victory.