This one was way too one-sided to tell if “the sleeping giant has awakened,” as the T-shirts John Ehret fans wore Thursday night suggested.
But for one night — the first one since November 2011 — the Patriots finally gave their fans something to cheer about.
Senior running back Darrel Williams and a swarming defense made sure of it.
Williams rushed for 159 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 64-0 rout of overmatched Cohen in the season opener for both teams at Hoss Memtsas Stadium.
It was Ehret’s first victory since beating Higgins in the 2011 regular-season finale.
“It feels great to get that first win because everyone doubted us, saying we couldn’t do this and we couldn’t do that,” Williams said. “But we wanted to show everybody that this is a whole new season.”
It was also the first victory for second-year coach Corey Lambert, who has the Patriots off to their first 1-0 start since 2007. It was especially special since it came on the 40th birthday of his brother, Karey, who proudly watched the post game celebration from the sidelines.
“My brother is one of my biggest inspirations,” said Lambert. “This one means a lot to me because the coaching staff has worked their butts off. This team has more brotherhood than any team I have ever been a part of.”
The Patriots wasted little time putting this one away in a game between teams who were winless in 2012.
They led 29-0 after the first quarter, thanks to three touchdowns by Williams.
The Arizona State commitment broke loose for a 42-yard touchdown on the game’s fifth play.
“Coach told me to go out there and do what I do,” said Williams.
Williams also scored on runs of 9 and 67 yards and caught a 7-yard TD pass from sophomore Caron Baham before sitting out the second half with his team holding a comfortable 45-0 halftime lead.
“Williams played quarterback last year and did everything we asked, but he is strictly a running back,” said Lambert. “He is a great back, a great kid. He is 6-foot-1, 218 pounds and is a load.”
Juwan Leonard scored three touchdowns, scoring on a 59-yard kickoff return and two short runs.
The defense was even more dominant, recording two safeties in the first half.
Cohen didn’t run a single play for positive yards. They were stuffed for (-129).
“Our defense is ahead of our offense right now,” said Lambert.
The Hornets play at Northlake Christian next week, while Ehret plays Brother Martin.
“What this does for our kids is let’s them know that their hard work has paid off,” said Lambert.