Preston boss Graham Westley purred with delight after seeing his team race into a 3-0 lead inside 35 minutes at Scunthorpe.
Midfielder Nicky Wroe struck the opening goal after just 25 seconds and completed a memorable first half with goals after 28 and 35 minutes.
On-loan striker Leon Clarke gave Scunthorpe a lifeline with his seventh goal in 10 games before half-time and after Karl Hawley had reduced the arrears further after 72 minutes and only a great save by Steve Simonsen denied Clarke a late equaliser.
"For 35-40 minutes I thought our football was a joy to watch," said Westley. "It was a perfect away performance, we really put on a show.
"I have been asking Nicky (Wroe) to get forward into the box more and his finishing was excellent.
"We had lost our way a bit in the last few weeks. But we have a new team that is evolving."