NEW HAVEN – So the running back spigot has not been turned off out this way, as it turns out.
As it turns out, Te’Vaughn Hurse is gone at New Haven, but he left the water running. He left senior Anthony Moore, last seen jet-skiing 36 yards over, around and through a pile of silver Woodlan helmets for one score Friday night, and then 47 more yards to set up another. And he left a sophomore named Javin Easterly, who carried Hurse’s old No. 5 for 95 yards and a touchdown on just five carries.
It was the first wave of a rumbling tsunami that buried Woodlan beneath 379 rushing yards and was the primary force in a 66-18 blistering of New Haven’s rival.
Moore played a key role in that, finishing with 121 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. But there were a lot of parts.
Eleven different players lugged the football for the Bulldogs, and six of them rushed for 38 or more yards. Five different players – Moore, Easterly, Dustin Walls, Brandon Fluker and quarterback Kevin Ware – scored rushing touchdowns.
It’s not an area we’re short at, New Haven coach Jim Rowland said.
You know what? I’ve been fortunate. I’ve just had a great run of running backs here at New Haven. I think it’s a position that’s gotten a lot of attention, so I get a lot of kids that are interested in playing it. Tonight we had three, four, five different kids run the ball for us extremely well.
Throw in Ware’s two long touchdown passes to Elliott Nelson and Isaiah Lee, and Woodlan’s propensity to sabotage its own efforts, and the rout was on in full.
The Warriors set the tone quickly by fumbling away the opening kickoff, a mistake for which they paid with a 22-yard New Haven field goal just three minutes into the game.
Woodlan turned it over four more times in the first half and seven times in all.
New Haven turned four of the turnovers into points to build a 45-0 lead before Woodlan finally scored on T.J. Sewell’s 1-yard run with 6:40 to play in the third quarter.
That got us up real high, Moore said of the opening fumble.
His coach agreed.
It was big, Rowland said. We talked a lot in the locker room about just applying pressure and keeping pressure on at all times. Just keep turning the screws – that’s what our kids did, offensively, defensively.
We told them if we did that we could get them to wilt a little bit, and that certainly happened.
Nothing made them wilt faster, though, than Rowland turning loose all those running backs behind a beefy offensive line that blew open holes the size of condos.
After which, Moore and Co. stepped on through.
I like to come out hard and just build the chemistry, build up the team, Moore said. We’ve got a good program here.