From the opening kickoff of Saturday afternoon’s high schoolo football game between Dunellen and Highland Park, everything pointed in favor of the Destroyers.
By the final whistle, it was confirmed in a 44-14 victory over the Owls.
Dunellen scored 37 of its 44 points in the first quarter — the first 28 points on just 10 total plays.
Quarterback, David Johnson and running back, Nassan Anderson combined for over 200 total yards and were a part of 42 of the Destroyers’ 44 points; the other two coming from a safety created by Dunellen’s special teams play.
“It’s what I expect of them,” Dunellen head coach Dave DeNapoli said. “We got four, five capable kids that can score and run the ball and they’re just two of them and they did a great job.”
Johnson only threw the ball twice, completing both of his passes for 21 yards and one touchdown. The majority of the quarterback’s yardage came on the ground, where he piled up 111 yards and two touchdowns. Anderson carried the ball only three times for 98 yards, but he made the most of them, scoring on all three plays, including a 60-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
“Before the game we established that each game moving on is the most important one of the season,” Johnson said. “We know we have a real big game next week. A lot of this motivation was to show what we are capable of, and how we can really run things, and hopefully take another ‘W’.”
Dunellen’s efficiency on both sides of the ball in the first quarter led to an early exit for the majority of their starters on offense and defense. As a whole, DeNapoli says they need to improve in the upcoming week as the Destroyers get ready to play Spotswood.
“We got a tough game this week coming up with Spotswood,” DeNapoli said. “That’s a great football team, so we’re looking for a good week of practice.”
D – Johnson 6 yard pass to Anderson (extra point good)
D – Anderson 31 yard run (extra point good)
D – Johnson 81 yard run (extra point good)
D – Anderson 7 yard run (extra point good)
D – Safety on kickoff
D – Johnson 27 yard run (extra point good)
HP – Mathis 15 yard run (two point conversion failed)
HP- Safety on sack in the endzone
HP- Boykins 20 yard run (two point conversion failed)
D- Anderson 60 yard run (extra point good)
RUSHING: D- Johnson 3-111, Anderson 3-98. HP-Boykins 1-20, Mathis 5-47, Ruiz 6-29, Melgazo 2-7
PASSING: D- Johnson 2-2-0-21. HP- Powell 2-6-0-29
RECEIVING: D- Anderson 1-6, Appleton 1-15. HP- Melgazo 1-25, Laseur 1-4