A week after scoring 60 points in a win over Keansburg, the Spotswood High School football team did not score near that many against Point Pleasant Beach on Saturday.
Spotswood’s defense kept the Garnet Gulls out of the end zone, and Jack Dalrymple scored the game’s only touchdown in the Chargers’ 7-3 win.
The Spotswood defense, which has allowed only 10 points through three games, forced two turnovers, keying the Chargers’ first 3-0 start since 2009. Spotswood also avenged a pair of blowout losses to Point Beach the past two years in which the Garnet Gulls outscored the Chargers 82-23.
“We just wanted to pound it and play good ‘D,’ ” Spotswood coach Andy Cammarano said. “We don’t care about yards against, we care about scoring. You can drive on us all you want, but if you don’t score on us, we did our job.”
Dalrymple and the Spotswood offense ran 52 plays — all runs — keeping Point Beach’s offense off the field for much of the second half. The senior running back rushed for 157 yards on 34 carries, and with Spotswood up 7-3, Dalrymple carried the ball 12 times on the Chargers’ 16-play, 56-yard second-half drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock.
“I couldn’t ask for any more from (Spotswood’s) offensive line,” Dalrymple said. “They were getting cut … and they grinded it out. They’re probably hurting more than I am.”
But the Point Beach defense held on that late drive, stymieing Dalrymple on fourth-and-goal at the 1 with only 9:58 to play, and the Garnet Gulls took over, needing only a touchdown to take the lead.
“I thought the kids did a great job on defense down there,” Beach coach John Wagner said.
Marshall Gombos gave the Gulls room with a 39-yard run on first down, and Point Beach moved the ball to the Spotswood 13. But a penalty and sack pushed the Gulls back, and quarterback Jake Fioretti was intercepted by Chase Fee with 3:08 left.
“In the past we lose,” Cammarano said. “The clock was their enemy, and the pressure was on them.”
Dalrymple then rushed four times, picking up two first downs to seal the game.
“We wanted to stop (Dalrymple),” Wagner said, “and we didn’t do a good job on our front.”
Point Beach (2-1), which had scored 56 points in its first two wins, scored on the game’s first possession, taking the ball 69 yards in 12 plays and eating up more than nine minutes of clock.
However, on third-and-goal at the 1-yard line, a false start pushed the Garnet Gulls back to the six and, after an incomplete pass, Zach McCartney’s 21-yard field goal gave Point Beach a 3-0 lead.
“We had a penalty, and you can’t have that,” Wagner said. “We made a couple of mistakes at the wrong time.”
The Chargers answered on their subsequent possession. Dalrymple carried the ball 10 times and capped it by bulling in from a yard out on fourth-and-goal, giving Spotswood a 7-3 lead.
PPB — McCartney 21 FG
S — Dalrymple 1 run (McCloskey kick)
RUSHING: PPB: Gombos 6-62, Weigand 7-24, Fraunheim 7-10, Fioretti 3-(-5); Spotswood: Jack Dalrymple 34-157, Fee 6-24, Long, 3-3, Millburn 1-2 O’Connor 5(-4)
PASSING: PPB: Fioretti 8-12-93-0, Fraunheim 0-1-0
RECEIVING: PPB: Yates 7-64; Barry 1-29