With a second-team All-Ohio selection in Jerry Brown returning to lead McComb's offense, people expected the Panthers to be explosive.
People perhaps weren't expecting Calvert to be as well.
Yet, through two-and-a-half quarters, Calvert was able to match McComb big play for big play. But the longer the game went on Calvert slowed down while McComb kicked things up to ludicrous speed.
The Panthers pulled away in the second half for a 48-21 victory.
"I think we just ran out of gas," Calvert coach Todd Fox said. "With the number of guys we got going both ways and again with that adrenaline and so many first-time starters ... we just ran out of gas. We'll get better from this."
After the game, McComb coach Kris Alge, who scheduled two preseason scrimmages for his team, said he probably should have scheduled a third after seeing his team commit typical early season mistakes such as illegal procedure penalties and wrong alignments.
However, two scrimmages seemed to be plenty to get his offense clicking.
The Panthers racked up 546 yards of offense from a variety of weapons.
Brown led the team with 110 yards on the ground with a touchdown on 20 carries. He also caught seven passes for 114 more yards and another score.
But he had a little help from his friends.
Cody Wilson rushed for 83 yards on 11 carries, and caught for four balls for 61 yards. Dalton Buck threw for 260 yards and rushed for 62. Clay Dysert rushed for a pair of touchdowns while Brock Wilson and Clay Grubb each caught touchdown passes.
"They were really keying on Jerry," Alge said of Calvert's defense. "Cody Wilson had an excellent game running the ball; he's a heck of a running back. Clay Dysert is pretty good too at running back. I thought Dalton did a pretty good job.
"What impressed me with our line in the second half, we were able to pound a little bit and run our heavy, unbalanced set. The line made some good holes."
McComb put up the game's first touchdowns on a four-yard run from Dysert and an 18-yard pass from Buck to Brock Wilson.
That's when Calvert began to showcase its own big-play connection.
After falling down 14, it took Calvert two plays to respond. Tyler Long found Nick Warnement streaking down the left sideline for a 68-yard touchdown pass.
McComb went up 20-7 on Dysert's second scoring run, but Calvert responded in the closing moments of the first half.
When it looked as if McComb was driving for another score to close out the half and perhaps put the game away, Dan Kwiat intercepted a Buck pass to set up the Senecas.
Soon after, Long found Warnement on a post route down the middle of the field. One move later, Warnement was off to the races to bring Calvert within 20-14 at halftime.
"We know we have a big-play threat this year more than we had last year," Fox said. "Nick Warnement had two touchdown passes, his first time in a varsity football game. Tyler Long is a starting sophomore quarterback, he didn't play offense at all last year. Those things are positives."
The teams exchanged scores early in the third quarter. Cody Wilson broke a 27-yard touchdown run for McComb, while Calvert answered with a 71-yard run from Long.
"It was 14, then it would go back to seven," Alge said of the lead. "I was trying to get that 20- 21-point cushion where we could breathe a little bit and they kept making plays."
Calvert had a few opportunities to stop the McComb offense on a pair of fourth down plays, but each time the Panthers converted.
Facing a 4th-and-2 on Calvert's 48, Brown broke off a 38-yard run. He punched it into the end zone on the next play from 10 yards out to up the lead to 35-21.
Early in the fourth quarter, McComb faced 4th-and-10 on Calvert's 18. Buck's pass into the end zone was deflected twice, but ended up in the hands of Brown for a score that gave McComb a 42-21 advantage.
Buck connected with Grubb from 49 yards out for the game's final score.
"Obviously those are backbreakers," Fox said. "With a young team like we got out there, a big stop would be ideal for momentum, ideal just to get them going. The cards fell for them at the right time."
In his first game as the starting quarterback, Long threw for 195 yards, rushed for 133 and accounted for all three Calvert scores.
"We know that we can do some things that we weren't expecting," Fox said. "We threw the ball decent tonight. That's something we didn't really expect to do. But that opens up our game a bit."