RICHTON PARK | Like a freight train beginning a 48-minute trip, Crete-Monee's football team started Friday night's game against host Rich South slowly, but eventually could not be stopped.
The Warriors broke open a 6-0 first-quarter lead with 37 points in the second quarter on their way to a 56-0 win over the Stars in Southland Athletic Conference play.
"We didn't have the best week of practice, actually," Crete-Monee coach Jerry Verde said. "Of all the weeks, it was probably the most trying week we've had. You could see by the way we started (Friday) that that is what went on, but by the end of the first quarter, we woke up."
The scoring spree for the Times No. 1 Warriors (8-0, 4-0) started with a touchdown plunge by LaQuon Treadwell a play after a Stars turnover to give the Warriors a two-touchdown lead early in the second quarter.
A Warrior fumble recovery on the fumbled ensuing squib kick set up a four-play scoring set that was punctuated with Warrior quarterback Marcus Terrell hitting DeShawn Duncan for a touchdown for the second time in the game.
"Hitting and playing hard is contagious," said Verde of the state's top-ranked Class 6A team. "But needed a spark, and that spark was LaQuon's tackle on the kick-off."
The Warriors followed those two quick touchdowns with a 58-yard punt return for touchdown by Lance Lenoir, which was sandwiched between two more short touchdown passes from Terrell to Treadwell.
The final touchdown catch of the quarter by Treadwell came with just six seconds left before halftime and gave the Warriors a 43-point lead, ensuring a running clock for the second half. Terrell finished the first half with 15 pass completions for 262 yards and four touchdown passes against the Stars (3-5, 2-3).
The Warriors defense posted their first shutout of the season Friday while limiting the Stars offense to 65 yards of offense. Crete-Monee defensive back Rasheed Flowers returned an interception 90 yards for the final touchdown of the night.
"It's nice knowing we do have that defense, but we can't relax," Terrell said of the Warriors performance. "That is what happened to us last year in the playoffs -- we expected our defense to do something for us, and it didn't work out that way."