Stagg was hoping to prove its 2-0 record was evidence that it could compete in the SouthWest Suburban Blue.
Lincoln-Way East, however, provided the Chargers with a reality check Friday night.
The Griffins scored all of their points in the first half and cruised to a 44-0 win over host Stagg.
Liam Morrissey scored three touchdowns in the first half, while quarterbacks Mike Weller and Brandon Bauer each tossed one TD pass to Jeremey Nelson. East (2-1, 1-0) scored on five of seven first-half possessions.
“Offense, defense, special teams, this was our most complete game of the season,” East coach Rob Zvonar said. “We’re still trying to establish an identity but I liked the way we played.”
Morrissey’s scores covered three, two and two yards. After carrying the ball 53 times for 265 yards in Week 2 during a 23-15 win over Lincoln-Way Central, Morrissey had pretty light workload Friday, finishing with 37 yards on 14 carries.
“It doesn’t matter if I have to run 53 times or block 53 times, I’ll do whatever it takes to win,” Morrissey said. “We came out and played really well.”
Nelson missed the first two games with a high ankle sprain, but appeared in midseason form against the Chargers (2-1, 0-1). Weller (11-of-15, 142 yards) hit a wide-open Nelson on a 34-yard touchdown strike to give the Griffins a 7-0 lead after the first of six extra-point kicks by Nick Jenig.
Nelson later caught a 38-yard touchdwon pass from Bauer (2-of-4, 47 yards) with 8.6 seconds remaining in the half that made it 44-0.
“It felt great to get back out and help my teammates,” Nelson said. “We were able to put the ball in the air more. We were definitely more balanced on offense. We wanted to come out and make a statement.”
East racked up 324 yards of offense, 189 through the air. Ed Mahoney led the Griffins in rushing with 75 yards on nine carries.
The Griffins defense was equally as successful, holding the Chargers to a paltry 44 yards of total offense — all on the ground. East’s defensive line of Jeremy Suda, Ben Christensen, Dan Cooper and Dan Steward made life miserable for Stagg. Linebackers Luke Epich and Brad Toepfer had strong games as well for East, which also got a 23-yard fumble return for a touchdown from Epich that made it 35-0.
“(Stagg) Coach (Mike) Fahey is doing a nice job building a program,” Zvonar said. “We wanted to come out and get off to a good start, which I thought we did”
Stagg’s offense was without its top producer, fullback Dennis Egan, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2.