Spartans run past West
The South Caldwell Spartans took advantage of costly miscues by the West Caldwell Warriors to claim a 28-7 victory in the first county matchup of the season on Friday night in Gamewell.
"Early on, we just wanted to run some plays to get settled into the game," said South Caldwell head coach Butch Carter. "Once we got settled in, we really started to move the ball well in the first half."
"We had some penalties early on that stopped some of our drives," said West Caldwell head coach Chip English. "We have got to get better. The bottom line is we didn't match their (South Caldwell) intensity from the start. But I'm pleased with the team. I think we're heading in the right direction."
The Spartans picked off three Titus Tucker passes in the game, two of which resulted in touchdowns for South. Noah Bradshaw, Phillip Adams and Gavin Reed had the interceptions for the Spartans.
South Caldwell (1-0) received to start the game and drove 59 yards on 10 plays. Reed capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
The Warriors responded with an eight play drive into South Caldwell territory, but a costly holding penalty pushed them back and forced a punt.
In the second quarter, the Spartans forced a West punt and started with the ball on their own seven yard line. But eight plays later, Nick Hudson punched it in from one-yard out to extend the lead to 14-0.
The Warriors responded with another nice drive deep into Spartan territory. However, a false start penalty on third and two pushed West back. The next play, Bradshaw picked off a pass and returned it the 46 yard line. Four plays later, Adams scored from 15 yards out on an option play to give the Spartans a 21-0 lead at the half.
West Caldwell (1-1) came out fired up in the second half, holding South to zero first downs in the third quarter. The Warriors then got on the board early in the fourth on a nine-yard touchdown run by Rakeem Spikes.
"Give West Caldwell credit," Carter said. "They came out and won the field position battle in the second half. But I think sometimes you have to go through a little adversity like we did there in the third quarter and see how you respond."
On the ensuing possession, Dylan West recovered a South fumble to give the Warriors the ball and a chance the cut the deficit down to one score. However, Reed picked off Tucker on the very first play to give the ball back to the Spartans. Moments later, Reed scored his second touchdown of the day on a one-yard run to put the game out of reach.
Next week, South Caldwell will host Alexander Central, while West Caldwell travels across the county to take on Hibriten.