St. Vincent High's varsity football Mustangs opened play in the new North Central League II/Bay Football League in a big way Friday evening, riddling Stellar Prep's lightning quick, but defensively challenged, Thunder, 51-7.

Playing a first-ever Friday evening (5 p.m. kickoff) game at Yarbourgh Field, the Mustangs were occasionally bothered by the Stellar Prep speed, but more than offset the Thunder quickness with a devastating passing game in the first half, and a time consuming ground game as night began to drop in the second.

St. Vincent quarterback Mitch Sheppard had a brilliant first half, completing 11 of 16 passes in the half for 225 yards and two touchdowns as the Mustangs built a 21-7 halftime lead. The one first half touchdown he didn't throw for, he ran in.

For the game he was 14 of 29 for 268 yards and three touchdown passes. He has now completed at least one touchdown pass in 14 straight games dating back to last season.

In he second half, St. Vincent continued its onslaught, with Derek Murphy running in two touchdowns and George Sammon adding another. The Mustangs even tacked on a two-point safety.

Defensively, the Mustangs occasionally yielded run chunks to the swift Thunder backs, but more than atoned with many big defensive plays. Michael Carroll led the defense with 11 tackles, while defensive back Murphy had nine and linebacker Zach Sitchler seven.

For a complete story on the St. Vincent win, see Thursday's Petaluma Argus-Courier.