Mike Spatz was full of fatherly pride on Saturday.
The former Lacey standout watched as his son, Kyle, sped for 207 yards and four touchdowns on six carries — all in the first half — as the Lions bested Manchester, 54-0, in nondivisional action.
“It’s a pleasure to watch him play,” Spatz said. “It’s enjoyable watching him succeed and run.”
Spatz, a 1987 graduate, rushed for nearly 2,000 yards in four varsity seasons and also played linebacker. He led Ocean County in rushing as a sophomore.
“I was more of a bull in a china closet,” he said. “Kyle, whose mother, Kristin, was a sprinter for Woodbridge, is more of a speedster. He reads defenses well. I am not afraid he will get hurt.
“He works all year for this. He began attending a speed camp as a seventh grader and continues to go to speed camp to this day.”
Spatz said he and his dad, the head coach of the Lacey Middle School Seventh and Eighth Grade Football Club, often discuss their beloved sport. Spatz and his father have played for coach Lou Vircillo.
“We talk about football each day,” he said. “We talk about how I run and how to hit the holes. We talk about switching hands with the ball when I do a stiff-arm. I had eight fumbles last year. I have none this year. During the offseason, I worked with a two-pound ball to help me hold the ball tighter.”
Spatz scored on runs of 15, 50, 9 and 82 yards. He raced for 116 first-quarter yards on four carries. The Lions scored on each of their six first-half possessions. They rushed for 247 yards in the first half on 11 carries.
Spatz hit the end zone from 15 yards on the Lions’ third play from scrimmage with 10:37 remaining and the rout was on.
“Running the ball is a lot of fun,” the 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior said. “I love hearing the fans cheer as I head down the field. I just love it. There is no pressure on me. I know I can do it.”
Lacey (5-0) erupted for 41 first-half points.
Junior quarterback Tom Kelly connected with junior wide receiver Christian Tutela on a 17-yard scoring pass with 6:40 left in the first quarter. Spatz jetted 50 yards for a score with three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Kelly tossed a 27-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Bill Belford with 27.8 seconds to go in the first half. Spatz scored on a 9-yard toss sweep of right end with 10:12 to play in the opening half.
Spatz capped his show with an 82-yard touchdown run with 8:11 to play in the first half. With 11:09 remaining in the game, reserve quarterback Conor Davies threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to George Sayre. Tutela, playing in the backfield, capped the scoring when he ran 45 yards with a fumble recovery.