One will be hard-pressed to find a more productive half of football than the one Rahway High School put on display during the opening 24 minutes of Saturday’s NJSIAA first-round playoff game against Spotswood.
Rahway scored a touchdown on all six first-half possessions and held its opponent scoreless during that time as it coasted to a 47-20 decision over Spotswood in the Central Group II game before 600 at Veterans Field in Rahway.
Rahway (7-2), the fourth seed, will now travel south to take on top-seeded and undefeated Rumson-Fair Haven in a sectional semifinal on Friday night. Rumson defeated eighth-seeded Bordentown, 41-8, in a first-round game on Friday night.
Spotswood (7-3), which was appearing in the postseason for the first time since 2009, was seeking its first playoff win in 10 years.
Rahway was keyed in the opening half by the play of Jeffery Bost, who ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more, and Gabril Gross, who rushed for a touchdown and 117 yards in the opening half.
“We wanted to start the game up-tempo and keep moving the ball,” said Bost, a 5-9, senior. “We were able to score right away and that kept our confidence building throughout the game.”
Rahway’s opening possession of the game came after a Spotswood punt and put the Indians in business on its own 46 yard line. Gross quickly ran for 22 yards and Bost followed with a 13-yard pass to Tyler West down to the Chargers’ 16-yard line. After a Bost eight-yard run, the quarterback then ran it in himself for the first points of the game.
Bost tossed a six-yard touchdown pass to Daejon Weeks-Landy on Rahway’s next possession and the Indians got the ball right back when Nadir Williams-McLaurin recovered a fumble on the Spotswood 19-yard line after Chargers’ first-play from scrimmage after the kickoff.
Gross capped the quick two-play drive with a one-yard plunge.
Later in the half, an interception by West – aided by a tip from Michael Stradford, a fumble recovery by Donte Raymond and two interceptions by Jeffery Reyes all produced touchdowns for Rahway, which took a 40-0 lead into the half.
The second half began with a running clock, which goes into effect once a team leads by 35 points or more.
Rahway increased its lead to 47-0 when Stradford capped a five-play 62-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown scamper off left tackle.
Spotswood scored the final 20 points of the game, the first six coming on a 62-yard interception return by Tom Haggerty.
Chase Fee, who led Spotswood with 65 yards on 10 carries, scored the final two touchdowns for the Chargers on runs of 10 and four yards, respectively.
“Football is the fairest game there is and if you commit too many turnovers its very hard to overcome,” said Spotswood head coach Andy Cammarano. “We got down by a lot very quickly, but we kept fighting. We had 21 seniors on this team and I’m very proud of what they were able to accomplish.”
R- Bost 8 run (kick failed)
R – Weeks-Landy 6 pass from Bost (Zelaya kick)
R – Gross 1 run (Zelaya kick)
R – Reyes 30 pass from Bost (Zelaya kick)
R – Raymond 2 run (pass failed)
R – Bost 1 run (Zelaya kick)
R – Stradford 5 run (Zelaya kick)
S – Hagerty 62 interception return (McCloskey kick)
S – Fee 10 run (McCloskey kick)
S – Fee 4 run (kick failed)
RUSHING: R -Gross14-161, Raymond 3-51, Bost 5-35, Stradford 2-9, Scott 4-7; S – Fee 10-65, Long 6-31, Dalrymple 5-10, O’Connor 1-3.
PASSING: R – Bost 7-9-111-2; S – O’Connor 3-7-51-0-2.
RECEIVING: R – Gross 2-34, Reyes 1-30, Stradford 1-25, West 1-13, Weeks-Landry 1-6, Roberts 1-3; S – Long 2-34, Fee 1-17,