If you’re looking for a definition of a quick-strike offense, check the video of the second half of Warren’s 42-12 victory over winless Mundelein (0-5) on Friday night in a North Suburban Conference Lake Division game.
At halftime, Warren led 14-12. But after the Blue Devils had run just 10 plays in the second half, it was 42-12 and over.
Warren (3-2, 2-1) took the second-half kickoff and went 80 yards on three Darrius Crump runs. They were 19, 55 and six yards, with the last one producing points.
On the Blue Devil’s next possession, they needed three plays to go 87 yards, with the final 74 coming on a pass from quarterback Jay Nickell to University of Illinois-bound tight end Caleb Reams.
When they got the ball back it took one play to score, as Vashaun Wright raced 65 yards to the end zone.
On the Devils’ fourth possession of the half, a three-play, 27-yard TD drive was set up by Jalen Powe’s fumble recovery.
Warren’s offensive numbers in the game were eye-popping. Crump carried 16 times for 206 yards and two scores. He had runs of 55 and 44 yards.
Wright had 11 carries for 125 yards and a score. His long runs were 65 and 27 yards.
Nickell completed 6 of 11 passes for 159 yards and three TDs — two to Reams (five and 74 yards) and one to Nicholas Marcinkus (25 yards).
The sum of all that: 487 yards of offense.
Yet, it was a game for a half.
Mundelein got even at 7-7 on a short TD run by Isaac Banuelos. A 39-yard field goal by John Marcos had the Mustangs (0-5, 0-2) ahead 10-7 with 10:44 left in the first half, and a safety credited to Antoine Hicks made it 14-12 at the break.
For the game, Mustang quarterback Colten Fisher ran 20 times for 44 yards and was 2-of-7 passing for 50 yards. He was 0-of-3 in the air in the second half.
Speedy running back Robert Hamilton rushed 14 times for 95 yards.
“The first half, we played well. The spread-option look was very effective for us,” Mundelein coach George Kaider said.
The Mustangs lost five starters in the second half with injuries, and the offensive execution went to the sideline with the players. “I’m really proud of the way we fought all game long,” Kaider said.
Crump left the game in the second half and has ice on his hand afterward.
“We started out slow, but we were able to pick up the tempo in the second half,” said the junior who was at Carmel the last two years.
Nickell, who looked like a different QB after intermission, praised the play off Warren’s offensive line.
“I have to give credit to them. They did a great job giving me time to throw,” he said. “Our running backs take a lot of pressure off me too. We’re able to run play-action, which led to two touchdowns tonight.”
Warren coach Bryan McNulty tipped his cap to Mundelein for a great showing. “They came out and played extremely hard,” the coach said. “I told our kids at halftime that we needed to compete more and bring our physical play up, especially on the defensive end.”
McNulty, a first-year coach, also was happy with his quarterback play.
“If you are one-dimensional in this conference, you are going to have a tough time winning games,” he said. “I thought Jay played really efficient for us, and has some nice targets to get the ball to.”