LEROY — One of the few good things to happen to the LeRoy High School football team on Friday night was the game's opening kickoff skipping past the Tri-Valley receiving tandem at the other end of the field.
Even that soured quickly for the Panthers, however, when Tri-Valley's Mason Cagley hustled back to scoop it up and return it 85 yards for a touchdown.
The lemons to lemonade start for the Vikings set the stage for the remainder of the evening as Tri-Valley rolled to a 49-0 Heart of Illinois Conference non-divisional win at LeRoy.
"Obviously, any time you play a team of that caliber you can't give them points and we gave them (seven) points right off the bat and that was it," said LeRoy coach B.J. Zeleznik. "We knew it was going to be an uphill battle and that didn't help things."
Also not helping the LeRoy cause was Tri-Valley's precision-like execution on both sides of the football that stymied the LeRoy offense while running through the Panthers' defenders.
A 2-yard touchdown run by Zach Woodring and a 43-yard pass play from Jake Reeser to Casey Hamilton quickly gave Tri-Valley a 21-0 first quarter lead.
Tri-Valley coach Josh Roop was pleased with his team's performance out of the gate after the Vikings split a pair of close games in the season's opening two weeks.
"We challenged our leaders to step up," Roop said. "We haven't been happy with the way we've been executing and taking care of the football and penalizing ourselves and everything else.
"We had a tough week of practice and I was really happy with the way we executed today. We were physical and our offensive line did very, very well tonight."
Quarterback Reeser said the tough week of practice paid dividends.
"We kind of got hit in the mouth the first two weeks and we responded well," Reeser said. "We just decided that we needed to fix some things and we worked really hard this week."
The Vikings (2-1) rushed for 191 yards with Woodring leading the way by chewing up 66 yards on 13 carries. He added a 6-yard scoring run with 1:35 remaining in the second quarter to give Tri-Valley a 35-0 halftime lead.
Prior to the TD run, Reeser had tossed his second touchdown pass of the night, an 18-yard strike to Clayton Leipold.
The junior quarterback completed all five of his passing attempts for 98 yards with Leipold on the receiving end of three of the throws.
"I just had great protection from the O-line and plenty of time to throw," Reeser said.
Roop also was pleased with the offensive line's performance.
"Our offensive line is senior dominated and it was finally doing this week what we were hoping it would do all year," he said.
"They're just a big, strong downhill football team," said Zeleznik. "As you saw, they're pretty good at moving that line of scrimmage."
Tri-Valley scored a pair of second half touchdowns on a 3-yard run by Hamilton and a 6-yard run by Jake Fatima, a fourth-quarter substitute at quarterback.
The Tri-Valley defense limited LeRoy (1-2) to 86 total yards and forced three Panther fumbles.
"They took away what we wanted to do, took advantage of turnovers and that was it," Zeleznik said. "We were hoping to control the clock, control the ball a little bit, keep their offense off the field. We weren't able to do that. In fact, they did that, so you have the result you get."