Junior recovers two fumbles as Rams beat Northside 49-7

Welton Spottsville said his role on Havelock’s football team is to use his athleticism and “play whatever position is needed at the time.”

And that’s exactly what the junior did last week in the Rams’ 49-7 win over Northside that moved Havelock to 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the Coastal 3-A Conference.

“I had to play cornerback and I think I did a pretty good job,” Spottsville said. “I had to step up that game.”

Coach Caleb King wouldn’t argue that before a practice this week as the Rams prepare for Friday’s game at Swansboro (5-4, 0-3).

While Spottsville is one of four players with at least 27 receptions, he was asked to play more in the secondary because of injuries and because Northside featured a pair of NCAA Division I recruits in Jireh Wilson (East Carolina) and Demetrius Jones (Navy).

Wilson was held to just five catches for 43 yards and a touchdown while Jones had just 3 catches for 28 yards. The Rams’ secondary limited the Monarchs (5-4, 1-2) from recording many big gains via the air.

And helping Havelock’s defense was the 6-foot, 195-pound Spottsville, who recovered two fumbles.

“We had to shuffle some pieces around because Northside is a good team and they have those two receivers who are so big and physical,” King said. “We had to find a way to match them, and Welton stepped up and did a good job. He did what we thought he would do.”

The 16-year-old Spottsville has one interception, that coming in a 41-14 victory over West Craven in the season opener. He returned it 68 yards for a touchdown.

Spottsville said adjusting his mindset from an offensive one to more of a defensive one wasn’t that difficult.

“It just clicked,” he said. “We got into practice and it clicked.”

That doesn’t surprise King, who called Spottsville “an extremely intelligent player as well as an athletic one.” The coach added that Spottsville, in his second year on varsity, is perhaps just as talented as a cornerback as he is as a wide receiver.

Regardless of his position, Spottsville is known for his effort, King said. The best example, he gave, was Spottsville’s blocking abilities.

“His effort every day is really what stands out,” King said. “Some college is going to be lucky to have him because of that.”

But while Spottsville didn’t mind fulfilling more of a defensive role, he made it a point to say his top position is at wide receiver. He’s second on the team with 30 receptions, fourth with 411 yards and fourth with four touchdowns.

For the record, Spottsville also has returned a punt and a kickoff for scores.

“I just try to beat the person in front of me,” Spottsville said. “Really, that’s it.”

But ask quarterback Zach Sabdo, and he will say there’s more to Spottsville than just that.

“He’s very fast and he’s got great hands,” he said. “When he goes down the field, I trust he will go up and get the ball and come down with it. He’s just a dynamic player.”

Spottsville recognizes he’s one of many big-play threats for the Rams, who average 49.5 points per game. Talk to him about being one of those key cogs, and he will tell you the success he and his teammates share all starts from the competition they give each other in practice.

“There’s a lot of trash talk,” Spottsville said with a laugh. “It makes you want to be better and it makes you want to work harder.”

Sabdo was 20 of 28 for 205 yards and four touchdowns against Northside. Khalil Barrett carried the ball just six times but totaled 129 yards and a touchdown to lead the ground game for the Rams, who led 35-7 at halftime. Barrett also had six catches for 84 yards, while Cameron Hutchinson had nine catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, Matt Moody was in on 16 tackles for the Rams, while Solomon Beligotti was in on 13 and had an interception. Tyiyon Johnson had a fumble recovery and also had 10 total tackles.