Aside from an early kick in the head and five turnovers, Seton Catholic had things pretty much how it wanted against a younger Estrella Foothills team Friday night.
The host Sentinels offset the miscues and an early 80-yard touchdown run by Estrella running back Jamal Austin and handed the visiting Wolves a 44-7 setback at Seton’s Michael Eubanks Stadium in Class 3A South Region action.
Seton (5-2, 2-0) won its fourth consecutive game. Estrella (3-4, 0-2) is in its first varsity season and does not have a senior class.
Seton rolled up 328 rushing yards and held the Wolves to 175 yards of offense, and that included Austin's long run through the middle of the Sentinels' line on their first play from scrimmage.
That was something Seton running back Chad Baniecki said was nothing to worry about.
"I knew something like that would happen where we’d have to make adjustments," said Baniecki, who carried 10 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Seton running back Troy Bullock also reached the century mark on the ground, leading all rushers with 131 yards on 15 carries and scoring two touchdowns. Austin finished with 105 yards on 21 carries and was ineffective after the opening-drive TD run that tied the score at 7-7.
"We have to clear some stuff up," Seton coach Pete Wahlheim said. "But we played hard and I'm happy with the whole team."
Baniecki put the Sentinels on the board with an 8-yard TD run, capping a 58-yard drive on the 10th play for a 7-0 lead with 8:58 to play in the first quarter. But Austin made that up right away with his 80-yard run.
The Seton defense figured out Austin and the Wolves’ scheme on offense, limiting them to one first down through the remainder of the half. In the meantime, Baniecki’s 27-yard run capped a short, three-play Seton drive for a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Seton built up its cushion later in the quarter as quarterback Matt Refner connected with Robert Rzonca from 5 yards out to extend the lead to 21-7 with 4:36 left in the half. After Joe Casillas blocked a punt and recovered it at the Estrella 4, Neil Kerkhof upped the lead to 28-7 with a 4-yard run barely a minute later.
Bullock scored his first touchdown late in the third quarter on a 1-yard run. He later scored from 3 yards out.