Stansbury didn’t take long to make a mark on their playoff-opening victory over Jordan High last Friday. And, for the Beetdiggers, it might be fair to say that the Stallions left a skidmark when the horn sounded on the 62-7 final.
Of Stansbury’s staggering nine touchdowns, six of them were racked up in the first half alone.
At the onset of the game, a trio of Stallions piled on 21 unanswered points in the first quarter, including a 61-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Coleman Dearden that found Kanden Hadlock for the score. That drive was sandwiched by a pair of two-yard rushing touchdowns by center Nisi Vaka and running back Tyson Ferry.
Things only got uglier from there, as Dearden helped extend the lead to 42-0 and added nearly 100 passing yards in the process. Hadlock was the beneficiary of a 42-yard completion for his second tally of the game, as were Luke Daynes and Mason Maxwell on 37 and 11-yard passes, respectively.
After Stansbury’s reserve players were put onto the field, and extended the lead to 49-0 (two-yard Wyatt Oliver TD run), Jordan broke through in the third quarter to bring the margin to 49-7 with what ended up being the team’s lone scoring drive. The Stallions did not relent, however, as the bench players responded with an offensive push of their own.
In the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Josh Syphus connected with freshman Brighton Reutzel for a 19-yard pass. Then, as a final nail in the coffin, sophomore middle linebacker Charles Barbiero intercepted a Beetdigger pass for a pick-six to round out the game’s scoring at 62-7.
After the game, Stallions head coach Eric Alder said he was not surprised by his team’s early onslaught, going so far as to say that he would have been surprised had they not. Alder added that the Beetdiggers seemed to have gotten out of sorts as the game went along, a flaw of which Stansbury took full advantage.
“When we play like what we’re capable of, we can move the ball and score points in a hurry,” he said. “They [Jordan High] seemed to have lost hope and motivation after the first quarter.”
On the whole, Stansbury’s coach liked what he saw from the team, discipline-wise, as they limited their penalty minutes to 48 yards and made the most of Jordan’s penalties as well.
“Overall our discipline is improving,” Alder said. “We will always make mistakes, but it’s the mental mistakes that we can’t afford to make if we are going to continue to win.”
As the star of the show, Dearden finished the game with 238 total yards under his belt, with 201 of them in the air and 37 in rushing yardage. His four passing touchdowns bring his total this year to 21, through the 11 games he has played thus far.
In this Friday’s second-round game, Stansbury gets a chance to avenge a narrow 28-27 Week Three loss to the Ridgeline Riverhawks. The game will take place in Millville and is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m.
According to Alder, the team will be more than ready, and aren’t planning to deviate from their winning strategy.
“These kids are focused and we understand we are all playing to extend our season,” he said. “We, as coaches, do our best throughout the year to make sure we peak during playoff time.
“I feel we are peaking at the right time.”