Expectations couldn't be higher for the No. 1 Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings, so head coach Craig Buzea was expectedly nervous when his team took the field for the first time Friday night in Downers Grove.
With 17 returning starters and an embarrassment of riches on offense, everyone anxiously awaited to see what Bryce Gray and Co. would do in Week 1. The results? 558 yards, 56 points and a message to the rest of the state that they're the top dogs for a reason.
[DRIVE: HF FOOTBALL -- Vikings living in the moment as season begins]
Here's how the rest of the Vikings' upcoming opponents fared in Week 1:
Week 1: @ Downers Grove South (W, 56-15)
Quarterback Bryce Gray opens the year with an ultra-efficient evening, completing 8 of 9 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns. The Vikings score five touchdowns on their first 11 plays from scrimmage and never look back. The Harley-Hampton twins record five touchdowns, Kendric Pryor catches four passes for 152 yards and two scores and defensive end Tyler Newkirk records a team-high 13 tackles.
Week 2: @ Stevenson (1-0; Week 1: 26-24 win at Palatine)
After starting QB Jack Sorenson (head) left the game three plays in, Stevenson leaned on Aiden O'Connell, who threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns as the Patriots narrowly escape with a Week 1 win. Sorenson's status for Week 2 is unknown.
Week 3: @ Stagg (0-1; Week 1: 35-34 loss vs. Minooka)
The Chargers led 34-28 with 6 minutes remaining before Minooka quarterback Johnny Carnagio found Jake Adams for an 18-yard score and the victory.
Week 4: vs. Joliet Central (0-1; Week 1: 12-6 loss at Thornridge)
The Steelmen had the ball at midfield with 2 minutes remaining in a tie game, but Zach Wisniewski threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and the eventual game winner for the Falcons. Joliet has now lost 46 straight games.
Week 5: @ Lockport (0-1; Week 1: 28-21 loss at Downers Grove North)
The Porters led 14-0 less than 5 minutes into the game but surrendered the lead, with a botched snap on a punt setting up the Trojans' winning score with 2 minutes remaining.
Week 6: @ Joliet West (1-0; Week 1: 30-15 win at Moline)
Two third-quarter scores help the Tigers push past Moline, with quarterback Alex Tibble (224 passing yards, TD) leading the way.
Week 7: vs. No. 8 Lincoln-Way East (0-1; Week 1: 14-13 loss at Oak Park-River Forest)
The Griffins can't punch in a 4th-and-goal from the 1 late in the fourth quarter and suffer arguably the week's biggest upset.
Week 8: @ Sandburg (1-0; Week 1: 28-21 win at Naperville North)
The Eagles took an early 14-0 lead but needed a 47-yard touchdown pass from Alex Fidan to Avery Verble to break a 21-21 tie with 4 minutes remaining.
Week 9: vs. Bolingbrook (0-1; Week 1: 28-7 loss vs. No. 3 Glenbard West)
With just one returning starter - center John Tyler Ivlow - the Raiders' offense can't generate any offense. Defensively, Ohio State commit Tuf Borland tallies 15 tackles but can't slow down one of the state's best rushing attacks.