Hardy tallies four TDs in Central Regional victory

Hardy tallies four TDs in Central Regional victory

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Hardy tallies four TDs in Central Regional victory

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BERKELEY

The wrath of superstorm Sandy robbed Javon Hardy of most of his possessions, but it did not strip the Central Regional junior quarterback of his football ability.

Hardy rushed for 163 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries, powering the Golden Eagles past Manchester, 28-6, in Shore Conference Class B South on Sunday.

“I won’t be allowed to go back to my home for a couple of months,” the Seaside Heights resident said. “My mom went back today to get my things. I have my clothes, my television, my Xbox and my jerseys from Central, the NFL (National Football League) and MLB (Major League Baseball).”

“Javon lives on the second level,” Central coach Vince Casale said after giving Hardy a game ball. “The first floor is flooded out. Javon is such a great kid. Now, he lives with Rob Martinez, our starting tailback. A lot of our players are staying with teammates. At least 10 of our players are displaced. One lives in New York after living in Seaside Heights.”

Casale said Central (3-5, 2-5) played its first game in three weeks.

“I am so proud of the effort of the kids and the coaches,” he said. “They worked extremely hard under these circumstances. The team never gave up. We had a very good week of practice. I knew the kids would play hard.”

None played harder than Hardy, who has overcome a partially dislocated right shoulder suffered in the fourth quarter of a loss to Lakewood. He missed his team’s loss to Monsignor Donovan.

“It’s great to be back on the field,” Hardy said. “There’s nothing better than that.”

Central scored on its first possession of the game after taking over at the 50-yard line on an interception by senior defensive back Tom Clark, who made the pick on the initial play from scrimmage. Hardy put the Golden Eagles ahead, 6-0, on a 21-yard dash up the middle with 9:23 left in the first quarter. Josh Foca kicked his first of four extra points for a 7-0 lead.

Manchester junior running back Amani Richardson cut the deficit to 7-6 with a 14-yard run with 1:42 remaining in the first quarter. Hardy pushed the lead to 14-6 with a 4-yard run with 5:33 left in the first half. Senior running back Blake Jambor set up the score with a 74-yard sprint to the Manchester 4.

Hardy scored second-half touchdowns on runs of 5 and 43 yards.

To raise money for Sandy’s victims, Jeremy Payton, 11, of Berkeley, collected donations at the front gate.

“It’s a great way to help people who don’t have electricity and homes,” he said prior to the game. “My goal is to fill the jug at least halfway. It’s a nice way to help people who can’t get food and water.”

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