Wheaton Academy took more than eight minutes off the clock on its first possession Friday at Wheaton College before the drive stalled at the St. Edward 28-yard line and the football went over on downs.
The Green Wave's first possession lasted just 12 seconds, Luke Duffy's 70-yard touchdown run setting the tone for a 40-0 St. Edward victory in the Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division opener.
"It was huge," Duffy said. "We pride ourselves on defense. We want to come out and shut down everybody. That's our mentality, so to stop them right then and come out and score on our first play from scrimmage was definitely a momentum shift in our favor."
Duffy carried the ball 22 times for 248 yards and 4 TDs on the night, then handed all the credit to his teammates.
"The offensive line had a tremendous push," Duffy said. "I give them all the credit, and my fullback lead blocking for me really opened up the holes."
Even after a busy first half, Duffy asked for more at halftime, telling coach Mike Rolando he was "in the zone."
"I told him at halftime I was going to keep feeding him," Rolando said. "When we had that 90-yard drive he probably had 13, 14 carries. But he ran like a man today."
"It's just same song, second verse as last week," Warriors coach Ben Wilson said. "We're playing against a more experienced, more physical team. I've got to say our kids fought hard, we had some big plays throughout the night, and offense and defense we just can't capitalize when we need to. We're not executing when we need to."
A Green Wave defense that entered the game having allowed just 6 points all season kept that figure intact. Wheaton Academy (0-3, 0-1) managed just 7 first downs and netted 3 yards rushing.
"We were challenged and we stepped up to the plate and we executed," Duffy said, "but that's what we expect to do."
Twice Wheaton Academy drove into the red zone only to come away empty-handed.
"We've been able to move the ball every week against every team we played, we're just not finishing," Wilson said. "I just want to give our kids the confidence that they can finish."
St. Edward (3-0, 1-0) took a different thought out of it.
"That's our message to the kids: They did have some opportunities there where they bent, gave up some underneath passing stuff," Rolando said. "That doesn't score many points. Eventually they have to get something behind us or push something in in the running game. Defense stepped up again. They've answered the bell time and time again this year."
The only negative for the Green Wave on the night was its 13 penalties for 113 yards.
"We had a lot of mistakes today, and we have to shore those up, and obviously those aren't going to win us a lot of games going forward, but today we were able to rebound from some adversity, make some plays when we needed to," Rolando said. "But we've got to shore up the penalties, the holding, botched snaps, things like that."
The Green Wave heads into the tough portion of its schedule, facing Marmion next week.
"We think we can play with anybody," Duffy said. "We know we have a lot of doubters out there that say we haven't beaten anybody, any good competition. But I think if we play our game and don't have a million penalties like we did tonight, I think it'll be a real good game and hopefully we'll come out on top."