QUINCY -- By the time the Quincy University football team's first victory was complete, the war paint many of the offensive linemen applied to their face had been wiped away or sweated off.
It didn't matter. It had served its purpose.
Buoyed by the veteran blockers who paved the way for a 100-yard rusher, a 200-yard passer and 487 total yards, the Hawks were efficient and opportunistic in Saturday's 50-21 victory over Alderson Broaddus in the home opener at QU Stadium.
"We actually decided before this week that we were going to put on some war paint to just let ourselves know that we had to get it done," sophomore left tackle Justin Rosendahl said. "We're the veteran group on the field, and we have to handle it every single series like grown men."
Front start to finish, the Hawks wore the Battlers down.
After sophomore quarterback Andrew Rund scrambled for a 13-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage, QU senior tailback Chris Harris hit a seam created by Rosendahl and left guard Les Sakaria and ripped off a 55-yard touchdown.
"The boys opened that hole up and left me one-on-one with the safety," Harris said. "That was nice."
The safety couldn't catch him, and he reached the end zone untouched.
"Huge, huge hole," Harris said. "If I don't score, we need another back in there."
That set the tone for what was to come.
Harris rushed for 155 yards, averaged 8.6 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns. Redshirt freshman tailback Chris Poindexter had 54 yards and an 18-yard touchdown as the Hawks finished with 270 yards on the ground.
"We established the run game immediately, and Chris rose to the occasion," Rosendahl said. "We needed that big time. We needed our veteran back to come through big time."
The line wasn't ready to take all the credit for that either.
"Our wide receivers were blocking great," Rosendahl said. "And Rund was making the correct reads and the correct checks, so it was all a group effort to get the job done."
The same could be said for the defense.
In last week's loss against Midwestern State, QU which they allowed 468 yards rushing and five scoring plays of 17 or more yards. The Hawks buckled down Saturday, allowing the Battlers to rush for only 126 yards and forcing three turnovers.
None were bigger than Adehkeem Brown's interception on the first possession of the third quarter.
Trailing 29-14, Alderson Broaddus used pass plays of 17 and 23 yards to move into QU territory and faced second and 6 from the 34-yard line when Battlers quarterback Connor McWilliams tried to dump a pass into the flat for what appeared to be a screen play.
Brown read the play was short, moved up from his cornerback spot and made a diving interception.
Six plays later, Rund connected with redshirt freshman wide receiver Jordan Smith on a 40-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline that gave the Hawks a three-possession lead.
"That was huge, because we were able to break their back in the third quarter," said QU interim head coach Gary Bass, who earned his first victory at QU. "I felt we had a little bit of a lull in the second quarter when we had a lead and kind of let them get back in it a little bit.
"At halftime, I told them, ‘Guys, the most important thing is the first drive of the third quarter. We have to stop them. We have to get the ball back.' We did that and put the ball in the end zone. That was a big turning point in the football game."
Brown's interception was his second of the game, and linebacker T.J. Daniels picked off a pass in the third quarter that led to Harris' 6-yard TD run.
Each turnover led to a touchdown.
"That's how you swing momentum," Bass said. "Those are big plays."
Just like Harris' touchdown run on the first possession of the game.
"We wanted to send a message early," Bass said. "For them to understand what we were going to do and we did it, that's big. They knew we were going to come out and run the football. It wasn't a secret. But we were able to do it at a high level."
Quincy 50, Alderson Broaddus 21
18 First downs 26
30-126 Rushes-yards 43-270
296 Passing yards 217
422 Total yards 487
19-35-3 Comp-Att-Int 13-22-0
0-0 Fumbles-lost 1-0
6-67 Penalties-yards 8-65
A-B 7 7 0 7--21
Quincy 22 7 14 7--50
Q--Chris Harris 55 run (Nate Rueckemann run), 14:13
AB--Amaan Bridgett 1 run (DJ Opsatnik kick), 11:48
Q--Chris Poindexter 18 run (Michael Klotz kick), 8:41
Q--Harris 1 run (Klotz kick), :59
AB--Mauris Thomas 27 pass from Connor McWilliams (Opsatnik kick), 6:37
Q--Kody Wood 11 pass from Andrew Rund (Klotz kick), 3:04
Q--Jordan Smith 40 pass from Rund (Klotz kick), 11:10
Q--Harris 6 tun (Klotz kick), 5:10
AB--Tory Less 2 pass from Zach Chandler (Opsatnik kick), 11:31
Q--Adam Hillis 19 pass from Rund (Klotz kick), 7:25
RUSHING--Alderson-Broaddus, Collison-Cofie 8-63, Amaan Bridgett 8-20, Pierre 5-19, Zach Chandler 3-15, Darius Hagans 3-9, McWilliams 3-0. QU, Harris 18-155, Rund 7-56, Poindexter 13-54, Dominique Bobo 4-16, Trey Mosley 1-(minus 11).
PASSING--Alderson-Broaddus, McWilliams 17-28-257-3, Chandler 2-7-39-0. QU, Rund 13-21-217-0, Mosley 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING--Alderson-Broaddus, Jermaine Wynn 6-92, Zack Lake 5-112, Maurice Thomas 3-70, Pierre 2-1, Taylor Bell 1-20, Tory Lee 1-2, Collison-Cofie 1-(minus 1). QU, Owen Schoenenberger 3-62, Wood 3-23, Smith 1-40, Jake Braskett 1-34, Poindexter 1-24, Hillis 1-19, Briar Hancock 1-9, Chase Lowenstein 1-8, Bobo 1-(minus 2).