But when things finally did unravel, they unravelled big time.
The Cards broke open a 14-14 tie, scoring three touchdowns in a span of roughly four minutes and pulling away for a 37-14 win.
Yet it was the Chargers who drew first blood, completing a 55-yard drive in the opening quarter as quarterback Aaron Campbell hooked up with wide receiver Nick Garrison on back-to-back plays covering 23 and 21 yards, the second of which reached the end zone.
St. Charles pulled to within a point early in the second quarter when Connor Chezzi found Jake Carriere on the receiving end of a 28-yard pass, with the missed extra point leaving the Cardinals trailing 7-6.
Recovering the ensuing kickoff, the Cards scored on their first play from scrimmage as Chezzi looked in the direction of Michael Mooney, finding the wideout alone in the end zone for a 16-yard strike, though they would miss their second straight convert.
Adding a pair of singles to lead 14-7 at the half, St. Charles appeared ready to assume full control of the game in the final 30 minutes.
Confederation had other plans.
A talented roster that is limited to just 25 players pulled even when the Chargers marched 84 yards on seven plays, the highlight of which was a 43-yard pass and run with running back Tom Cousins.
Garrison capped the drive, hauling in a 12-yard pass from Campbell, knotting the contest at 14-14. After offsetting interceptions by Maverick Bolger (Chargers) and Jacob Pitawanakwat (Cardinals), St. Charles coach Mike Fabiilli knew it was time to pull out all stops.
Inserting 2012 SDSSAA football MVP Ian MacDonald into the backfield (he had been used exclusively on defence up to this point), the Cardinals cranked it up a notch.
MacDonald would carry the ball on eight of the next nine plays, punctuating his performance with a four-yard touchdown run to give St. Charles a 21-14 lead. Some miscommunication on the followup kickoff provided all the opportunity the Cardinals would need, as Carriere recovered the ball in the end zone, quickly doubling the lead.
Unbelievably, St. Charles recovered their second straight kickoff on the next play without ever using a short kick. Three carries by MacDonald totalled 41 yards, allowing Chezzi to call his own number from the three, upping the lead to 35-14 as the victors added a late safety touch.
The Friday nightcap would also see the favourite encounter some resistance as the St. Benedict Bears led the defending champion Lo-Ellen Park Knights 3-0 at the half thanks to a 25-yard field goal from Connor Vandeweghe.
Much like the Cardinals, the Knights would strike quickly to mount a comeback.
Running back Matt Glass paved the way on the opening Lo-Ellen possession of the second half, carrying the ball four times for 42 yards, including a six-yard scamper to paydirt.
Leading 6-3, the Knights' defence picked up a big four and out, with Brady Lavigne returning the ensuing Bears' punt 74 yards for the major and a 12-3 advantage.
The Knights increased their lead to 19-3 later in the third quarter as Dalton Milford snuck in from the five, with Aristos Koutsoukis sailing the convert through the uprights.
The score remained that way until the final minute of play when rookie St. Benedict QB Chase Pressacco aired out a picture perfect pass to Brandon McDonald from the 25-yard line, closing the gap to 19-10.
Week 2 action resumes on Thursday as Confederation and St. Benedict tangle at the James Jerome Sports Complex, with two more games slated for Friday before Lo-Ellen and Lively tangle on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.