After 497 days, there was a familiar sight when driving past Clark Field on Friday night.
After their game against Lakewood was canceled last week, the St. Anthony football team was finally back on the field to take on Mary Star of the Sea.
The Saints marched their way to a 34-7 victory and junior Sone Aupiu led the way as he wore down the Stars’ defense scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 100 yards on 15 carries.
“Both sides played a really tough game,” Aupiu said. “We were just more physical. I want to thank my lineman for giving me the opportunity to get these yards.”
Mary Star (0-1) got off to a fast start after a great return gave the Stars possession inside the Saints 40-yard line.
With their Double Wing-T offense, the Stars kept St. Anthony off balance as they scored on their opening drive after Carlos Gonzalez broke free for a 19-yard touchdown run.
“We figured that would happen,” St. Anthony coach Mario Morales said. “They’re not a bad team and the offense they run – you gotta be ready defensively. It’s hard to simulate it in practice, so we knew they were probably going to have some big plays early on.”
That was the last time the Stars scored, as the Saints’ (1-0) defense tightened things up with their physical play.
The Saints scored on the next possession as Aupiu scored a 15-yard touchdown after Joey Howorko connected with Kweku Claybrook for a 38-yard pass to put St. Anthony into Mary Star territory. St. Anthony missed the PAT and trailed after the first quarter.
The Saints took the lead for good in the second quarter when Sone scored a 12-yard run and Anakin Aupiu converted the two-point conversion attempt.
With Sone’s bruising running style, the Saints were able to control the tempo and rely on him when the team needed to calm things down offensively.
“When you need to kind of stabilize things, when you’re maybe not ticking on offense,” Morales said. “It’s nice to know it’s like ‘Hey, let’s run the ball with Sone. We know we’re going to get yards with him and we’ll settle down.’”
Howorko finished the game 8-16 for 127 yards and one touchdown.
In the first quarter, there was a 27-minute injury delay.
The Saints will be back at Clark Field next Friday when they host Salesian.