While it might be true that a formidable Section III Class C playoff challenge lies ahead, the Bishop Ludden football team heads into that gauntlet possessing two season's worth of positive momentum.
All the Gaelic Knights have done is win 19 consecutive games, concluding a perfect run through the 2007 regular season last Friday night with a wild, 54-37 victory over Hannibal on Senior Night in Geddes.
Combining its well-known ability to make big plays with a dash of defensive style, the Gaelic Knights turned an early 7-0 deficit into a 41-13 halftime lead with scoring plays of every shape and size.
Hannibal, at 4-2, came into the game with a special sense of urgency, needing a win to have any chance of reaching the playoffs. It had advanced to the sectional finals in both 2005 and '06.
At least on its opening drive, the Warriors turned urgency into action, with an 11-play, 62-yard march that concluded with Tyler Baker's one-yard TD run.
But if that was supposed to make Ludden worry, the long-term effect was contrary. Ludden proceeded to score six times before Hannibal could stagger into the halftime break.
Omar Osbourne got it moving with a 44-yard touchdown run. Moments later, John Rooney intercepted a stray Hannibal pass, then turned it into points when, as quarterback, he found Rick Montgomery for a 28-yard TD reception.
The next time the Warriors had the ball early in the second quarter, Ludden forced a punt. Then Montgomery blocked that kick, picking it up and returning it 33 yards for a back-breaking touchdown that made it 21-7, and the rout was on.
Twice more in that period, Rooney would throw TD passes -- 20 yards to E.J. Beauford, then 41 yards to Mark DeAngelis. Osbourne added a five-yard TD run as well, and he was far from done.