For Beloit Turner coach Derek Diehl, the 2018 season began in ideal fashion: His Trojans defeated Whitewater 56-7, the team stayed healthy and there were plenty of mistakes to correct.
Turner was virtually unstoppable on offense, tying the school record for most points in a game, and that was without having to utilize the right arm of quarterback Kenny Draeving much at all.
The potent ground game that included Nano Reyes, Jo`Vontae Coleman and Jordan Majeed ran roughshod over the Whippets defense as Turner rolled to a 35-7 lead at halfitme.
The lone defensive blemish in the first 24 minutes came courtesy of a 76-yard touchdown run by William Leibrand that briefly cut the Turner lead to 14-7.
Following that lapse, it was all Turner, all the time.
"We were eager to get going tonight," Diehl said. "It was a win all week, I thought. The kids rose to the challenge, the field hasn't looked this good since I've been here, and it really starts with everybody. It was a good night."
The running game ended up pounding out 289 yards in 37 carries for the Trojans, and Turner won the overall yardage battle 335 to 120.
Majeed was the featured player in the first half, rushing 12 times for 80 yards. Reyes finished with nine carries for 97 yards and three touchdowns. Draeving thew only six passes, and completed three of them, two of which went for touchdowns.
The first was a 23-yard strike to Reyes on the Trojans' first offensive possession, and the second was a 30-yard pass over the middle to tight end Jackson Carter to make it 21-7.
The running backs were quick to note that none had a problem with the job-sharing arrangement.
"It's fun to be able to share carries," Majeed said. "I don't mind it at all. It's fun to be able to share and still be able to all succeed. This was a big confidence-builder for us. Anytime you execute like that and score 56 points, that's big."
"I think we have a great, healthy competition with each other," Coleman said. "We drive each other and push each other all the time. The better one of us does, the better we all do."
So, what does Diehl have to correct after that world class whuppin' his team put on the Whippets?
"In a lopsided victory like that, you don't even look at the scoreboard," Diehl said. "You worry about those finite details, and you worry about yourself. We had too many penalties tonight and there was some sloppy play heading into half. We got fired up a little bit, and those guys didn't have an easy halftime. I think they were surprised they were being held accountable when we were up so much, but in another week, against another opponent, those things might have really hurt us."
• UP NEXT: The Trojans travel to Big Foot Friday.
Beloit Turner 56, Whitewater 7
Whitewater....... 7 .0 0.. 0 - 7
Turner..............14 21 7 14- 56
BT- Reyes, 23 catch from Draeving kick missed)
BT- Draeving, 4 run (Coleman run)
WW: Leibrand, 6 rush (Gutierrez kick)
BT: Carter, 30 catch from Draeving (Reyes kick)
BT: Reyes, 6 rush (Reyes kick)
BT: Majeed,4 rush (Reyes Kick)
BT- Coleman, 2 run (Reyes kick)
BT- Reyes, 5 run (Reyes kick)
BT- Reyes, 14 run (Reyes kick)
TEAM STATS: First downs - WW 5, BT 14. Rushing - WW 24-94. BT 37-289. Passing - WW 26, BT 56. Total yards - WW 120, BT 335. Passing - WW 5-11-1, BT 3-6-0. Punts - WW 4-26.8, BT 1-36.0. Fumbles - WW 3-1, BT 2-1. Penalties - WW 2-10, BT 6-45.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS: Rushing - WW, Leibrand 12-112, BT - Majeed 12-80, Reyes 9-97, Coleman 4-38, Vanderkooi 6-41, Draeving 2-8. Receiving - WW, Leibrand 2-16. BT, Card 1-3, Card 1-3, Reyes 1-23, Carter 1-30. BT- Reyes, 23 catch from Draeving kick missed).