WHEATON – St. Francis took nothing for granted this week against Westmont.
And played like it too.
The Spartans rolled out to a 42-0 lead after just one quarter, and went on to a 63-0 win over Westmont on Saturday afternoon at Wheaton College.
St. Francis' offense was unstoppable, looking well like a team with a promising season ahead.
“Everyone has bought in," said senior Ben Radel, who scored St. Francis' first touchdown. "We know we can go really far. We all really believe in each other."
It was a resounding bounce-back win for St. Francis (2-1), which came in off a tough 49-46 loss to Shepard. The Spartans said they underestimated Shepherd, but refocused their game to come out strong against Westmont (1-2).
“We bounced back from last week. Last week we had some alignment problems,” said Tommy Rittenhouse, St. Francis' junior quarterback.
“We underestimated a team that was very good and they took it to us," St.Francis coach Bob McMillen said. "It’s a learning experience. It was a bad taste we put in our mouth and we don’t want to have it again.”
The Spartans wasted no time getting on the board. Radel's 39-yard touchdown run came just over a minute into the firt quarter.
The momentum just kept going for them.
“I think our offense is very strong," Rittenhouse said. "We’ve got many weapons I can use. Our offensive line is one of the best."
The first quarter set the tone for the rest of the game. Football is a game where one play can determine the game’s direction.
That happened for Westmont.
With 7:22 left in the first quarter, Jake Tangorra scored a touchdown from a 36-yard pass from Rittenhouse.
“We had a third and 19, had a screen pass and we made a good job of making a tackle," Westmont coach Dan Woulfe said. "We were fourth and long. We were in position. We were keeping everything up front and got a guy behind us and there you go. Instead of a stop, it was a touchdown."
Less than 10 seconds later, Tyler Bishop scored a 5-yard touchdown run to take St. Francis ahead 21-0. Vincenzo Rendina then scored on a 20-yard interception return with 5:34 on the clock make it 28-0. Radel, who ran for 72 yards on just three carries, scored his second touchdown of the game with less than three minutes left in the first quarter on a 21-yard run.
“Ben did a nice job. The offensive line protected really well,” said McMillen.
With less than six seconds left in the first quarter, Ryan French scored on a 35-yard pass from Rittenhouse, who was 5-for-8 for 103 yards, to end the quarter 42-0.
“Our quarterback continues to do some good things," McMillen said. "He’s been a great leader. He is just going to get better."
In the second quarter Mike D’Orazio scored a 3-yard touchdown run to take the Spartans ahead 49-0. With about two minutes left in the second quarter, Jackson Gerard had a 27-yard run for a halftime score of 56-0.
Toby Reynolds scored the final touchdown in the fourth quarter with an 18-yard TD run.
“It was a good win. A lot of kids got a lot of playing time,” said McMillen.