The Green Wave came out Friday night covetous for their first win, and Andrew Sanders made sure they got it. The senior running back was fantastic in Friday night’s contest as he rushed for 194 yards on 17 carries as well as two touchdowns (1 receiving, 1 rushing), piloting Delbarton to their first victory of the season against the previously undefeated West Morris Central.
In the opening quarter, West Morris came out firing on all cylinders after a personal foul on Delbarton moved the ball to midfield for the Wolfpack. West Morris quarterback Cooper Sloan sprinted out and found wide receiver Mike Egan with no one around him. But when Egan was 4 yards from the end zone the ball was fumbled and went out of the end zone, resulting in a touchback.
Delbarton took over at their own 20 but West Morris forced a turnover of their own when West Morris’s Cooper Sloan intercepted a pass from Delbarton QB Matt Zebrowski and took it all the way back to the Delbarton 21-yard line. The turnover battle was prolonged as sophomore Anthony Siragusa of Delbarton intercepted a Cooper Sloan pass in the end zone to give the Wave the ball back on their own 20.
Delbarton senior wide receiver Kevin Hartley caught a curl from Matt Zebrowski to bring the wave to their own 34 and out of their own red zone. Another big pass from Zebrowski to sure-handed senior wide receiver Matt Ungar brought the ball into West Morris territory. Andrew Sanders became a dominant force for the rest of the game.
Sanders took over with a 35-yard touchdown run breaking multiple tackles and outrunning defenders to give Delbarton a 7-0 lead with 11:51 to go in the second quarter. The center screen would prove effective for West Morris as they gained major yardage all day with it.
West Morris star running back Solomon Holzworth would pick up a first down with a physical run to bring the ball to midfield for the Wolfpack. But a sack by Delbarton sophomore Liam Higgins left the Wolfpack to manage 3rd and long. On the ensuing play, Delbarton senior cornerback Jon Catania came up big when he intercepted Cooper Sloan, giving the Wave the ball back at their own 40.
A string of Delbarton running attacks as well as short passes would bring the ball to the West Morris 35-yard line. Andrew Sanders was back in action, continuing his monster day with a 28-yard run to bring the ball to the West Morris 12-yard line. Junior sensation Luca Tria would cap off the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run out of the wildcat. The PAT was blocked, giving Delbarton a 13-0 lead with 2:55 to go in the half.
WMC was determined to answer and Jake Congdon gave his team a 1st down on WMC ‘s own 30-yard line. But Delbarton’s versatile Matt Douglas intercepted the pass and Delbarton ran out the clock to close down the half.
Third quarter, Luca Tria gave Delbarton great field position with a 23-yard rush to bring the ball to the WMC 17-yard line. Sanders went back at it again. He grabbed a screen pass from Zebrowski, juked multiple defenders, and then crossed the entire field for the score in a Barry Sanders-esque run. The PAT by senior Carter Massengil would give Delbarton a 20-0 lead with 8:46 left in the third quarter.
West Morris converted a few fake punts by Ryan Albertson to give WMC first downs, but sacks by Wave sophomore terror Mike Huston, senior Princeton football-commit Sam Johnson, and junior stud Luca Tria would thwart any scoring chance for the Wolfpack.
After a big 4th down stop by senior Kevin Hartley, Andrew Sanders capped off his monster day with a 12-yard run to bring the ball to the WMC 6-yard line where Luca Tria would punch it in for a Delbarton touchdown. The PAT would be blocked again by West Morris to give Delbarton a 26-0 lead with 7:46 left in the game.
West Morris would be stopped one more time and Delbarton would run out the clock to capture their first win of the season, as West Morris received their first loss.
Sophomore Liam Higgins who had a clutch sack describes the outcome. “It was really important that we got a win after having a tough start to the year. It really gives us a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, which I know will help us play better.”
Andrew Sanders added his thoughts on the importance of the Delbarton win. “It was very much needed, we knew the first two games weren’t Delbarton football and we needed a win like yesterday to get back on track.” And, Sanders says, he is “pleased” with his performance “but there is always room for improvement.”
Delbarton will square off against Mount Olive at home on October 3rd, as West Morris Central is on the road at Randolph on October 2nd.
Delbarton 0 13 7 6 26
West Morris 0 0 0 0 0
2nd: Delbarton: Andrew Sanders 35 run (Carter Massengill kick)
2nd: Delbarton: Luca Tria 12 run (kick blocked)
3rd: Delbarton: Andrew Sanders 22 pass from Matt Zebrowski (Carter Massengill kick)
4th: Delbarton: Luca Tria 6 run (kick blocked)