Frontier's bulldozer offense just might have grown some wings.
The Titans, riding an offense just as adept through the air as on the ground, routed host Ridgeview 42-21 on Friday night in both teams' season opener.
Frontier quarterback Evan Moore was 11-for-15 passing for 181 yards and a touchdown to wide receiver Jaz Thind, who caught four passes for 82 yards.
"Jaz is pretty good, and defenses have to decide whether they're going to double (team) him," Titans coach Rich Cornford said. "If they do, then here comes the running game."
The Titans' running backs came with authority, too. Nick Santoro rushed 23 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and Troy Banks gadded 73 yards and two more scores on seven carries.
"We have two great running backs, and they kind of showed off their skills," Moore said. "Nick is our downhill guy, and Troy is our speed guy."
Frontier won the Southwest Yosemite League last season but lost six three-year starters from that team. The losses were particularly heavy on the line, but led by senior Colton Foster, the Titans didn't seem to miss a beat in their opener.
"I think we're a little more explosive team this year," Cornford said. "We have that big-play potential. Last year we just ground people down the field. This year, we can still do that, but we can hit them big, too."
Still, the Titans led just 20-14 after Ridgeview junior Jaccob Lopez broke four tackles en route to a 54-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. The Wolf Pack got the ball back but were stopped on a fourth-and-1 play at their own 37-yard line.
Ridgeview coach Dennis Manning said that failed gamble contained one of his young team's many mistakes.
"The problem is, we don't pick up a block we should have," Manning said. "If we're where we need to be, it's an easy first down. But it's the early season, and our inexperience showed."
On the next play, Moore threw down the sideline to an open Thind, who took the ball down to the 1-yard line. From there, Santoro punched it in, and Moore hit Thind for a 2-point conversion.
Two plays later, Riley Salters intercepted Ridgeview quarterback Lawrence White and returned it inside the 10. Moore converted with a running touchdown, and suddenly Frontier led 35-14.
"Most definitely, when you get an interception or a stop like that, the momentum shifts," Foster said. "The ball is in your court."
White had a late 44-yard touchdown run for Ridgeview, which won the Division III section championship last year but lost a big senior class, including Californian Player of the Year Kamari Cotton-Moya at quarterback.
"We had our moments," Manning said, "but honestly, youth and inexperience were a negative at times. There were a lot of positives, though. You can't make mistakes like that against a good football team, but we'll get a lot better."
Frontier thinks it will, too, which might be a scary thought. The Titans flashed balanced offense -- they finished with 181 passing yards and 209 rushing yards -- and a defense that mostly dominated the line of scrimmage.
"People don't know what we've got going on in our program till they see what happens out here, but we know how we prepare," Moore said. "Forty-two points against the defending D-III champions? That's pretty dang good. But we can get better."