These were among the first words out of Minneapolis Washburn coach Giovan Jenkins' mouth when addressing his team after a 45-6 victory over rival Minneapolis South on Friday afternoon:
"Revenge is sweet."
Indeed. A year ago, South interrupted what has often been a fairly routine romp through the City Conference for Washburn with a 24-20 victory, which ultimately led to a three-way tie for the conference crown between those two schools and Southwest.
Washburn served early notice this season that it doesn't intend to share with anyone.
"We were prepared," Jenkins said. "It wasn't hard to prepare after last year. There was a real calm in school [Friday]. It was all business."
South moved the ball on its initial drive, but after a turnover on downs Washburn's offense went to work. Jeffrey Jones' 5-yard TD scamper made it 7-0, and Charles Whiting's fumble return for a touchdown made it 14-0 early in the second quarter. From there, it was the Tony Ayala show.
A junior quarterback, Ayala has been in the Washburn pipeline for years. He missed his freshman season because of a torn ACL, came back to play junior varsity last season and showed Friday why Jenkins has so much faith in him. Ayala hit Noah Scarver with a perfect pass over the middle for a 20-yard TD on fourth-and-8. Then, just before halftime, he unloaded a 95-yard TD strike -- at least 50 in the air, if not more -- to Kyle Hughes.
It was 33-0 at the break, and the rout was on. Ayala finished with three TD passes, while Jones had two touchdown runs.
"I definitely love to throw the ball," Ayala said. "And when you can combine that with running the ball with a guy like Jeffrey Jones, it works out pretty well."