LITTLE EGG HARBOR
Moving up to Shore Conference Class A South will present plenty of challenges to Lacey this season.
Playing against former Class B South rival Pinelands on Friday night in both teams’ openers didn’t.
The Lions needed just two plays from scrimmage to get out to a 14-point lead and they never looked back as they cruised to a 58-8 rout of the Wildcats in a Shore Conference nondivisional contest.
“We’ve worked really hard and we felt like we could win this game,” said senior wide receiver Bill Belford, who scored Lacey’s first touchdown on its first play from scrimmage when he took a short pass from junior quarterback Tom Kelly and went 55 yards for the opening score. “We came into this game really confident.”
On the Lions’ next play from scrimmage, Kelly fired a ball over the middle and hit a wide-open Christian Tutela, who romped 51 yards to the end zone to give Lacey its eventual game-winning score with 6:27 to go in the first quarter. Senior kicker Liam Dolly then kicked his second of eight point-after attempts to make it 14-0.
Lacey (1-0) added to its lead two possessions later, requiring only two plays before senior running back Kyle Spatz busted into the secondary and outmaneuvered several defensive backs en route to a 40-yard score as the first quarter ended. Dolly’s third PAT made it 21-0.
The Wildcats (0-1) proved they could move the ball effectively on several possessions, including the one that led to their only score of the game — a 13-play, 80-yard push culminating with junior quarterback Dan MacPhee running around the right end for a 4-yard TD. Senior Gerard Grimes then ran the ball into the end zone for a two-point conversion, making it 21-8 with 6:59 to go in the half.
The Lions used just three more plays the rest of the half to extend their lead to 35-8. Both scores came on Kelly pass plays, the first to Belford for 60 yards and the second to Spatz for 53 yards.
On the first play of the second half, Lacey increased its lead to 42-8 after Spatz took a handoff, switched direction and went down the left sideline for a 55-yard TD run.
Lacey added two touchdowns in the third quarter, one on a 34-yard run by Sayer George and the second on a 10-yard run by backup quarterback Connor Davies.