SOUTH RIVER — Joe Hayford ran for 180 yards on 34 carries, leading the Spotswood High School football team to a 44-7 victory over South River on Saturday afternoon at Denny Stadium.
Hayford scored four touchdowns, two in each half and punished the South River defense with his between-the-tackles running. When asked after the game about his physical state, Hayford said he was a little spent from such a heavy workload.
“I’m very tired, but I wanted to keep running and working hard today,” Hayford said. “We just remembered what we did in practice. I haven’t had a game like this before and I’m pretty proud of my game today, but I want to thank my blockers for opening up holes all afternoon.”
Spotswood (4-2) led just 16-0 at the half, thanks to two touchdowns from Hayford, from 22 and 14 yards out, and a safety, but opened it up in the second half, scoring 21 straight points to open the half and effectively put the game away.
“We kept it simple and finally did some things right that we haven’t done all year,” Spotswood head coach Andy Cammarano said. “We communicated and played consistent. South River came out ready to play and it was a close game early, so we just tried to run the ball and play solid defense and we did.”
The Spotswood defense technically pitched a shutout, as the South River (0-6) touchdown came on an 86-yard kickoff return by Khaliyl Everett following Hayford’s fourth score of the contest.
Cammarano praised quarterback Shawn O’Connor for being the “complimentary guy for the whole offense.”
“We want to come out and run the ball, but we have to be able to throw the ball to do that,” Cammarano said. “Early in the season, we got swamped by people that were packing it in on us, so we took advantage and Shawn has gotten better every week and we kept it simple with the throwing here today. He executed for sure.”
O’Connor finished 7-11 for 90 yards, finding Andy Madsen and Derek Schneider three times each. Madsen caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Marlon Hart on a trick-play late in the fourth quarter and Hart also returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown to cap the scoring.
South River’s dual-threat quarterback Mario Nigro was running for his life all afternoon, as evidenced by his struggles to find lanes to run through. He finished with 25 yards on 17 carries and went 5-10 passing for 62 yards. He and the Rams’ offense were held in check by the Spotswood defense, which came up with just one turnover, but it was a big one, as Ryan Frost recovered a Nigro fumble and Hayford would pound it into the end zone two plays later to open the scoring for Spotswood.
SPOTSWOOD (4-2) 7-9-14-14-44
SOUTH RIVER (0-6) 0-0-0-7-7
S – Hayford 22 run (Szatkowski kick)
S – Nigro tackled in end zone
S – Hayford 14 run (Szatkowski kick)
S – Hayford 1 run (Szatkowski kick)
S – Madsen 33 pass from Hart (Szatakowski kick)
S – Hayford 3 run (Szatkowski kick)
SR – Everett 86 kickoff return (Kowalski kick)
S – Hart 70 punt return (Szatkowski kick)
Passing – S: O’Connor 7-11-90, Hart 1-1-33; SR: Nigro 5-10-62.
Rushing – S: Hayford 34-180, Hart 2-8, Bacchetti 1-6, O’Connor 1-4, Baureko 2-4; SR: Nigro 17-25, Everett 6-7, Stewart 1-3, Desantis 2-1, Hart 1-0, Drum 1-minus 1.
Receiving – S: Madsen 4-62, Schneider 3-46, Hart 1-15; SR: Desantis 2-39, Everett 2-22, Hart 1-1.