Calvert Hall football coach Lou Eckerl said he wanted to keep everything simple on offense for the season opener with Perry Hall.
"We're saying here's what we do, if we execute it right we're going to keep running it until you stop us," said Eckerl.
And Perry Hall couldn't.
Nick Muro threw for three touchdowns and Donald Davis ran for two as No. 14 Calvert Hall built an early 26-point lead and went on to score a 32-18 victory over visiting and No. 13 Perry Hall yesterday.
Eckerl, in his first game as coach, said the Cardinals had some tricks up their sleeves if necessary, but he favored the simple stuff.
"It was basic football," said Eckerl. "We've been working hard for the past two weeks on basic fundamentals."
And it showed. The Cardinals hammered away at Perry Hall by just running off the tackles, up the middle or throwing safe passes. The offensive line of Mike Zito, Mike MacMillan, Scott Borgmann, Wayne Hobik and Otis Warren opened huge holes for Davis and friends to scurry through.
Davis and the Cardinals kept running all day. He finished with 83 yards on 18 carries, and the team averaged nearly six yards per carry. Calvert Hall (159 yards) posted runs of at least seven yards on 11 of the its 27 carries.
The line also gave Muro plenty of time to find open receivers. On his third touchdown pass, Muro waited in the pocket for several seconds before lofting a 32-yard pass in the corner of the end zone to Joe Benge.
"There was nothing fancy," said Muro, who completed 7-of-15 for 111 yards. "It was just straight-nosed football."
Calvert Hall also took advantage of Perry Hall mistakes. The Cardinals recovered a Perry Hall fumble in the first quarter and scored three plays later. Calvert Hall then recovered a muffed punt in the second quarter and scored again two plays later.
Calvert Hall blew the game open early by scoring on four of its first five possessions. Davis' fancy footwork turned a short screen pass into a 25-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-eight on the opening drive.
After the Cardinals recovered the Perry Hall fumble, Davis scored his second touchdown on a 5-yard run. Muro's run made it 14-0 with 2:47 left in the opening quarter.
The quarterback upped it to 20-0 when he found Andrew Combs with a 24-yard touchdown pass with 9:50 left in the half. After Perry Hall turned it over on the muffed punt (one of three Gator muffs on punts or kickoffs), David Salla made it 26-0 on a slashing 15-yard run.
Perry Hall finally got on the board with one second left in the half.
Chris Zorn intercepted a Muro pass and gave the Gators possession at the Cardinals' 25 with 1:35 left. Quarterback Kevin Znamirowski sneaked in from the 2-yard line for the score, but Calvert Hall answered with Muro's 32-yard scoring pass to Benge to start the second half.
The Gators' running game awakened in the second half, piling up 157 yards and two scores. Touchdown runs from Znamirowski (15 yards) and Brandon Zimmerman (18) made it 32-18. The Gators threatened again late in the fourth quarter, but Calvert Hall's Steve Grochowski picked off Znamirowski in traffic to seal the victory.
"The kids are young, they're inexperienced," said Perry Hall coach Joe Stoy.
MA "They responded in the second half. They played much better."