Polo caught St. Mary’s off guard.

Polo caught St. Mary’s off guard.

Based on the video he had seen of Polo, Trojans head football coach Jason Fenstermaker felt he had the right game plan to face the Panthers Saturday night at Independence All-School Stadium. But the Panthers “ended up changing some things on us and not doing quite what we (had) planned (for them to do) – and what I (had) schemed in practice for,” Fenstermaker said.

By not following St. Mary’s script, Polo racked up 439 total yards on offense, held St. Mary’s to 108 yards of total offense and crushed the Trojans 50-6.

“We were expecting them to be – even though they’re bigger (than us) – just a little more finesse with the amount of pulls they did with their (offensive) line,” Fenstermaker said after the season-opening loss. “And so, we were practicing all week on following (their blockers).”

Sparked by some early success running up the middle, the Panthers saw “there probably wasn’t any need for them to pull – and so they just attacked us,” Fenstermaker added.

The Trojans also were expecting more up-the-middle blitzes from Polo’s defense.

“They started doing that,” Fenstermaker said. “But then, they really backed their backers (linebackers) off and let them flow over the top. We just couldn’t get in the right positions to cut them off.”

St. Mary’s probably wasn’t expecting Polo to grab a 22-0 first-quarter lead, either. But the Panthers did by scoring on three of their four first-quarter possessions.

“We wanted to do that (take control early),” Panthers coach Kyle Ross said. “We wanted the ball right off the bat. We kind of have a ball control offense. We want to try to grind on people as best we can.”

Saturday’s list of surprises included a touchdown by St. Mary’s lineman Sam Kenney. On second-and-goal at the Polo 3-yard line, Trojans quarterback Ian Walter fumbled. Kenney recovered the ball and carried it into the end zone for St. Mary’s lone score with 4:18 left in the second quarter.

“I was on the ground and (it) just fell on top of me,” Kenney said. “(I) just grabbed it.”

For Kenney, scoring a touchdown felt “pretty good.”

“I’ve never scored before in my life,” he said.

Nick Allen answered Kenney’s unexpected touchdown by ripping off a 55-yard TD run with 2:50 left to help give Polo a 30-6 halftime lead.

The Trojans came closest to scoring during the second half when senior Henry Handley returned the opening kickoff from the St. Mary’s 13 to the Polo 32. Sparked by the return, St. Mary’s reached the Polo 18, but lost the ball on downs.

Handley’s return was a case of something happening by design.

“We were going to do a double-cross (blocking scheme),” Handley said. “So, basically, that happened and I just bounced out to the outside and got (the) most yards I could get.”

Allen’s 13-yard TD run and Dylan Misel’s extra-point kick made it 37-6 Polo with 2:08 left in the third quarter. The Panthers finished the rout by outscoring the Trojans 13-0 the final quarter.