The first football game after the merger of Kenmore and Garfield high schools is indeed a “historic event,” as was noted before the debut by the combined teams of both former schools Saturday.

Except visiting Coventry spoiled the party, turning it into a showcase for the all-around talents of an ascending squad looking to build something special.

The Comets made plenty of noise early and often, cruising to a 49-0 nonleague, season-opening victory at Kenmore Stadium.

A flurry of three touchdowns in the last 2:29 of the first half turned a 14-0 advantage into a 35-0 halftime bulge and erased any doubts about the outcome.

With the 30-plus point margin, it necessitated a continuously running game clock. And that mercifully resulted in a quick, tidy second half.

“We’ve got athletes,” Coventry coach Ed Egan said. “We’ve got 16 returning starters, 17 seniors. Goal-oriented group of guys. They’ve got some goals.”

A lost fumble by the Comets on the first scrimmage play gave the Golden Rams an opportunity at the Coventry 35. But a fourth-down stop on defense, and subsequent 70-yard touchdown drive by the offense made it 7-0 with 6:32 left in the first quarter.

Senior kicker Jack Fuller kicked his first of seven extra points without a miss.

“The first five minutes were a little scary, a little nervous,” Egan said. “But speed got speed, we got a little faster. The second quarter was really good for us.”

This is Egan’s fifth year guiding the Comets, who were 5-5 last season. They compete in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division.

Senior quarterback Steven Locher threw three touchdown passes and ran for another. Senior Treon Sibley rushed nine times for 71 yards and an 8-yard score — all in the first half — and caught a 4-yard TD pass from Locher on their first possession of the second half.

Locher completed 9-of-13 attempts for 117 yards, rushing four times for 39 yards.

“We started throwing the ball more in the second quarter,” Locher said. “Taking more shots, getting more aggressive and tucking and running the ball when there was coverage downfield, opened everything up for us.

“I definitely feel as a team everyone has improved since last season. I feel like this should be a good year.”

Andrew Arnold caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Locher that made it 14-0.Playing quarterback in relief of Locher, Arnold threw a 4-yard TD pass to Austin Hinzman for the game’s final score.

Coventry amassed 379 yards of total offense. A defense led by senior linebackers Issac Stover and Brayden Dauberman held the Rams to 78 total yards. Kenmore-Garfield junior Anthony Wright completed five passes for 80 yards.

The Rams committed five turnovers with four lost fumbles.

At halftime, Stover challenged his teammates to finish the shutout.

“Very important to me,” he said. “Very important first game. I was happy. Exactly what i expected. We want to be PTC champions and we’re going to work for that.”

After a week of anticipation, it was a disappointing result for Rams’ coach Kemp Boyd, who coached Kenmore the last three years.

“I’m most disappointed for our seniors,” Boyd said. “Just for our school and our community because we thought this was a great opportunity after a tough, difficult summer.

“This is probably only our ninth week being together as a team, so we’re still kind of learning and going through growing pains. At the same time, we make no excuse for who we are. We’re going to own this loss. We’re only going to grow and build from this.”