For three quarters Bartlett controlled its Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division football opener against visiting Waubonsie Valley.
The Hawks used a bruising offense, and a punishing defense in taking a 20-0 lead entering the final quarter.
Waubonsie Valley made things interesting behind the electric play of backup quarterback Dylan Warden in the final quarter, but it was too little too late.
Bartlett (2-1, 1-0) avenged last season's loss to Waubonsie Valley, which denied it the UEC Valley Division outright title, with a 27-20 victory on Friday at Millennium Field.
Senior quarterback A.J. Bilyeu (9 for 17, 170 yards) and the Hawks' offense made quite the opening statement marching 80 yards in 16 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Bilyeu made the score on a 1-yard leap, with Hawks running the ball on 13-of -16 plays to set the tone eight minutes into the game.
"I just kept telling the guys in the huddle we have to get it rolling," said Bilyeu of the opening drive. "We just needed to get the momentum going."
And the Hawks kept it going, as Bilyeu found senior Zach Karys for a 31-yard score with 10:14 remaining in the first half, jumping to a 14-0 advantage.
The offense rolled to 235 yards in the first half, as offensive linemen Jon Foston, George Danek, Ryan Gray, Tyler Bernat, and Kevin Bauers helped pave for 138 yards rushing.
The defense also did its job, limiting Waubonsie to 25 total yards in the first half. Defensive ends Chris Kantzavelos and Will Spoerl applied the pressure and linebackers Kevin Kirchhoff, Mike Partyka, and Nick Andreucetti tightened the screws.
"Anytime you go up against an option like that you have to make sure guys are doing their job," said Bartlett coach Tom Meaney of Hawks' defense, which shutout the Warriors for three quarters. "I thought we handled it pretty well tonight."
Kantzavelos had 2 sacks for the Hawks' defense, with Andreucetti adding 2 interceptions.
"We just have to do what we've been taught," said Kantzavelos, "Stick with it and make the plays. We were pumped up the beginning of the game and we kept that the whole game."
Sophomore James Butler (18 carries for 90 yards) scooted 52 yards early in the third quarter to give the Hawks a commanding 20-0 lead.
Waubonsie Valley (2-1, 0-1) starting quarterback Mitch Stefani left the game early in the third quarter with a separated shoulder. Warden came in and gave the Warriors a lift.
The 6-foot-1 junior completed 7-of-16 passes for 168 yards, hitting Austin Ameri with a 32 yard score.
Warden (10 carries for 47 yards) also scored a pair touchdowns on 3-yard runs. But Bilyeu found Karys for a 73-yard touchdown for the with 5:06 remaining, giving Bartlett the cushion it needed.
"We told our kids all week it was going to be a physical football game," said Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy. "And we didn't come to play."