SENECA — Facing a fourth-and-1 from their own 36 on the second drive of a scoreless opening quarter, Seneca coach Ted O'Boyle chose to go for it.
He was overheard on the sideline, saying "We've got to set a tone here."
On the play, senior running back Logan Bruss rushed for four of the Irish's 306 yards, leading to what turned into a 40-0 Seneca win Friday against former conference rival Westmont.
"I want these guys to understand the mentality, we've got a fourth-and-1 anywhere on the field, we can get it," O'Boyle said. "I'm not always going to go for it on fourth-and-1, but I want them to think any time we have a fourth-and-1 situation, we can pick that up."
Following three more runs, senior quarterback Ken Sangston dropped back for the first pass of the season hitting a wide open Brody Baudino in stride on play action for a 38-yard score.
"I was thinking about it a couple of plays earlier, I was a little hesitant to call it given the way our running game has been going," O'Boyle said. "We didn't have to show much of that tonight. We executed it well."
Baudino said the defense wasn't expecting it.
"We had been running play after play, filling our holes running the ball through the line," he said. "I went on a pass route they didn't expect, get off my block, and nobody's out there to catch me. The quarterback has a good ball, the line has good blocks."
The senior running back, who also tallied 74 yards on 14 carries, said that first touchdown combined with an Owen Barnett interception to end Westmont's first drive built momentum for the Irish.
"From there, we just fed off it," Baudino said. "That really amped us up. I look over on the sideline, they're all cheering, everybody's up on their feet. It really gets the game going for us."
The Sentinels next four drives ended in a turnover on downs, interception by Irish junior TJ Van Ness and back-to-back lost fumbles.
Meanwhile, Seneca aired it out only once more the rest of the way, sticking to the ground.
Bruss led the way with 157 yards on 16 carries, scoring the Irish's third and fourth touchdowns. Baudino added a score from six yards out and Sangston snuck one in from a yard.
The Irish held a 32-0 lead at halftime.
O'Boyle said he was a little nervous debuting a new offense, but he credited his players' execution.
"Everybody we had run the ball tonight, ran the ball really hard," O'Boyle said. " ... Our center Edgar Reyes did a heckuva job tonight. When you don't notice the center, that's a good thing. We didn't have to notice tonight, because he did all the right things. He got the snap count correct, we didn't fumble any snap. That's the key to running this offense, we try to hide the ball."
Bruss said the offensive line had some struggles during practice, especially with the snap count, but cleaned it up Friday.
"I'd like to give a huge shout out to the offensive line," Bruss said. "They stepped it up big. Nobody expected us to put up 40."
Sophomore running back Cole Underhill added the Irish's final touchdown on a one-yard run in the third quarter.
Westmont coach Dan Woulfe said the Sentinels are dealing with depth issues and are thin at certain positions. With that said, he said he couldn't have drawn up a worse scenario for how the game played out.
"Every time we'd have a good play or something go our way, we'd set it back with a turnover or a penalty," Woulfe said.
O'Boyle said he'd like to see the tackling improve in Week 2 as the Irish will take on state-ranked Marquette, which defeated Dwight.
"They're a much more physical team, much more run-oriented," O'Boyle said. "We're going to have to do a better job tackling."