Thursday night, after Loyalsock's final practice of the week, Kyle Datres wanted to do something nice for his offensive line.
After consulting head coach Justin Van Fleet, who told him to buy the guys burgers, Datres decided to go with steaks. And his line responded in Friday's game like a group that was treated to steaks, protecting Datres throughout the night.
With all the protection, Datres finished with 80 rushing yards, completed 12 passes for 134 yards and was responsible for three touchdowns as Loyalsock hammered North Penn, 33-13, on its new turf field.
"He's a special player," Van Fleet said of Datres. "Kyle is a unique kid and what makes him special is what he does as a leader and person for this team. Those five guys up front will do anything for that kid. They don't like when he gets touched."
Datres broke his hand last season and was limited to just playing safety. And, even though he earned all-star honors, Datres missed being the quarterback.
"I've been dreaming to play since last year after I got hurt," Datres said. "It was hell standing on the sidelines watching them out there. I finally got my chance and I did my best out here."
It was a brand new day for Loyalsock, which played its first game on its new turf field, while welcoming first-year coach, Van Fleet. And with all the fresh new aspects to take in, it might have been easy to forget Loyalsock actually returned a decent amount of talent.
Mike Dougherty and Nick DiFrancesco returned after a solid year running the ball for the Lancers. And both continued right where they left off after a forgettable 1-9 2011 campaign.
Dougherty, who was outstanding returning punts and kickoffs, finished with 78 yards rushing to go with two touchdowns.
"Michael is a special player," Van Fleet said. "I'm privileged to have players like that one my team."
With all the shiny new features and coaches surrounding Loyalsock, North Penn should have felt at home. But that wasn't the case for a young group of Panthers ravaged by graduation.
North Penn looked lost through most of the first half, which led to two turnovers and two four-and-outs.
The only time North Penn got anything going on offense was the team's final possession of the first half. And saying the offense got something going is putting it very, very kindly.
The Panthers benefited from a face-mask call when Mickey Haller broke through the line and viciously pulled down Hillson by his mask. The play moved the Panthers into the red zone, but Haller was able to redeem himself by getting a sack two plays later to force a third-and-20.
Hillson then completed his sixth pass of the half when two Lancer defenders deflected a ball to Sam Rotella for a 24-yard touchdown.
The play was symbolic of Loyalsock's half, which dropped two interceptions, had a punt called back after two 15-yard penalties and extended North Penn's final drive of the first half with a penalty.
"It's going to be a process," Van Fleet said. "We have a lot of kids that are playing their first year of football. And with that in mind we have a lot of work to do with keeping our play even. Without the penalties this game would have benn that much sweeter."
Datres was all over the field in the first half.
After the Lancers held the Panther to a 3-and-out, Datres led the Lancers on a 57-yard drive, completing 3 of his 4 attempts for 42 yards. Datres eventually helped the Lancers grab a 6-0 lead when he found Phil Krizan for a 17-yard touchdown. And he wasn't done there.
Datres ran for a 26-yard touchdown on the Lancers next possession, then intercepted a Taylor Hillson pass on North Penn's next drive. He also added a 1-yard touchdown after Loyalsock blocked a punt.
In his first half under the lights, with new turf, Datres completed 6 of his 8 attempts for 57 yards, rushed for 56 yards and two scores and returned an interception 25 yards to setup another Loyalsock touchdown.
"Defensively we prepared for their big receiver," Datres said. "I was just helping out over the top and made a play."
Phil Krizan looked like Datres' go-to guy. The Lancer's senior pulled in five catches for 40 yards and touchdown.
North Penn quarter back Taylor Hillson looked uncomfortable throughout the game as a flurry of Loyalsock rushers were able to force bad throws and quick decisions. Despite the harassment, Hillson was able to led his team in rushing through the first half, gaining 20 yards on five totes. Hillson finished his night with 37 yards rushing, while throwing for 169 yards.