Senior running back Chandler Vanderbeek had his way on the ground rushing for 202 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns as the Immaculata High School football team defeated North Hunterdon, 39-13, in a Mid-State 38 Watchung Division matchup on Friday at Brooks Field in Somerville.
“Chandler has been amazing from all standpoints,” Immaculata head coach John Hack said after the game. “He’s been a leader and he’s done everything that we’ve asked of him. We told him we were going to feed him and he stepped up today. 26 carries for 202 yards? That’s a pretty nice job.
It was a nice job indeed.
The “big ugly’s” up front opened mammoth holes for Vanderbeek all night as the 5-foot-8, 185 pound back enjoyed nine runs of 10 yards or more.
“Our offensive line played absolutely amazing,” Vanderbeek said. “They were the reason we won this game tonight. They opened up holes so big you could drive trucks through them. It really made it easy on me and I have to give all the credit to them tonight.”
Vanderbeek and the Immaculata (3-3) offensive line steamrolled right through the North Hunterdon (3-3) defensive front from the get go, as was evident on their first possession of the game.
After forcing the Lions to punt on their opening possession, the Spartans drove the ball 77 yards on seven plays for their first score of the game with Vanderbeek carrying the ball four times for 58 yards and the games’ first touchdown.
Immaculata would add to their lead in the early stages of the second quarter.
After a botched punt attempt which traveled only 16 yards, the Spartans were set up with great field position at the Lions 44-yard line. Four plays later, it was senior running back Sal Fama running it in from 23-yards out to give Immaculata a 12-0 advantage after a failed two-point conversion attempt.
Fama ran the ball sparingly, but when he did he was efficient, carrying the ball four times for 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the evening.
Not only was the offensive line getting a push up front for the Spartans, but so too was the defensive front.
The Spartans held the Lions to just 35 yards of total offense in the first half and was stout all throughout the night.
“We take a lot of pride in our defense and for the last six quarters coming into tonight, it was not Immaculata defense,” Hack said. “We spent a lot of time this week on fixing our mistakes from last week and the second half of the Watchung Hills game. To be honest, what it came down to today, was effort. They came out fired up.”
Trailing 19-0 at halftime, North Hunterdon was behind the eight ball virtually all night from intermission on.
The Lions were able to get themselves on the board when junior running back Jordan Ditzel scored on a fourth-and-goal from one yard out to cut into the Spartan lead and make the score 25-7.
After Vanderbeek’s second touchdown run of the night, which extended the Immaculata lead to 39-7, junior back-up quarterback Ryan McDonald connected with senior wide-out Alex Camisa for 7-yard pitch and catch to close out the scoring.
I–Vanderbeek 10 run (Szymanski kick)
I–Fama 23 run (kick failed)
I–Sanders 2 run (two-point conversion failed)
I–Fama 55 run (kick failed)
N–Ditzel 1 run (Beadle kick)
I–Sanders 4 run (Szymanski kick)
I–Vanderbeek 21 run (Szymanski kick)
N–Camisa 7 pass from McDonald (kick failed)
RUSHING: I – Ch. Vanderbeek 26-202, Fama 4-88, Sanders 8-39, Co. Vanderbeek 1-4, Szymanski 2-9, Banks 3-30, O’Neil 1-5, Phelan 1-7. N – Ditzel 14-37, Marron 6-16, Monks 2-2, Magaleski 1-22, McDonald 1-5, Fogel 1-(-3).
PASSING: I – Sanders 5-10-29-2; N – Monks 4-18-56-0, McDonald 2-8-28-1.
RECEIVING: I – Szymanski 3-19, Ch. Vanderbeek 1-7, Lynam 1-3; N – Camisa 2-28, Magaleski 1-26, Fogel 1-20, Schaedel 1-13, Ditzel 1-(-3).