Gary Mobley wasn’t sure how many times his teams have been shut out in the first half during his 10 years as the Rahway High School football coach, but he estimated he could count them on one hand.
There was no guesswork required in the second half on Saturday as Rahway turned to its big-play performers for a tying touchdown early in the third quarter and three more scores in the fourth for an impressive 26-6 victory over Delaware Valley.
Jeffery Bost ran 11 times for 77 yards in the second half and two fourth-quarter touchdowns and Gabril Gross carried eight times for 72 yards and another score following the break after Rahway (2-0) managed just 49 yards on the ground in 13 tries in its scoreless opening half.
“You’re down 6-0 playing against a perennial playoff team, a great team like Del Val, it’s time to go to your horses,” Mobley said. “We try to pride ourselves on playing 48 minutes. You have to remain composed and understand that it’s a long game.”
The teams were locked in a scoreless deadlock until the final 30 seconds of the half when Dominick Benedetto capped an 86-yard, 14 play drive that consumed more than six minutes with a 1-yard plunge on fourth and goal for Delaware Valley (1-1).
“I think the worst thing that happened to us was half-time and I think if the game was able to continue and not stop it would have been a little different for us,” Terrier coach Mike Columbo said. “They have tremendous speed, tremendous athletes and their athletes finally caught up to us and they were able to make the plays they needed to make.”
Michael Stradford, who delivered Rahway’s other touchdown on a 19-yard return of a nifty one-handed interception, provided the initial spark for the Indians with a rollicking 26-yard punt return that gave it its first advantageous field position at the Terrier 39. Two plays later Gross burst off left tackle and raced down the sideline for a 35-yard touchdown that tied the score at 6-all three minutes into the second half.
Rahway drove 71 yards in 14 plays on its next possession with Bost, the game’s leading rusher with 110 yards on 17 carries, scoring on a 1-yard keeper on the second play of the fourth quarter to put the Indians on top to stay.
DV – Benedetto 1 run (kick failed)
R – Gross 35 run (kick failed)
R – Bost 1 run (Hodges pass from Stradford)
R – Stradford 19 int. return (kick blocked)
R – Bost 41 run (kick failed)
RUSHING: DV – Leonhardt 7-53, Bill 6-31, Benedetto 5-23, Cooper 10-19, Ambrose 12-0; R -Bost 17-110, Gross 12-81, Stradford 2-31, Raymond 3-15, Weeks-Landy 2-6.
PASSING: DV – Ambrose 6-13-3-81, Cooper 0-1-0-0; R – Bost 6-14-0-43.
RECEIVING: DV – Bill 2-38, Crawford 2-22, Beljan 1-15, Cooper 1-6; R – West 2-16, Gross 1-8, Weeks-Landy 1-8, Roberts 1-7, Stradford 1-4 .