Rams clinch at least a share of league title with victory
There’s a reason Havelock is a ranked Top 10 Prep team in North Carolina. The 6th-ranked Rams brought their traveling road show to Swansboro Friday and conducted a clinic, defeating the Pirates, 60-7, extending their undefeated road winning streak to 36 games.
With the win, Havelock remains undefeated at 10-0 and 5-0 in Coastal 3A Conference play. The Rams clinched at least a share of the league title with the victory and locked up a playoff spot. Havelock is scheduled to play Jacksonville (7-2, 4-1) next week. The Cardinals lost 36-7 to West Craven on Friday.
Swansboro evens its season record to 5-5, 2-3.
Havelock won the coin toss before the game, elected to receive and never looked back.
The Rams scored on six of their seven first half possessions with junior running back Montrece Gatling and sophomore back Solomon Beligotti each rushing for two first-half touchdowns, while sophomore quarterback Zach Sabdo threw for two scores to Khalil Barrett and Quinzel Lockhart.
Gatling led all rushers with 96 yards on 12 carries and was complimented by Sabdo, who connected on 13 of 15 passes for 205 yards in his second varsity start.
The Rams totaled 638 yards of offense, with 433 coming on the ground.
Havelock’s defense silenced Swansboro’s offense, holding the Pirates to three first downs and limiting senior quarterback Eli Frantz to 93 yards from six completions on 12 attempts including two interceptions.
Frantz collected most of his passing yards on the Pirates’ only score of the game when he connected on a 56-yard play-action pass to Markuise Hemby late in the first quarter to cut into the Havelock lead, 12-7.
Swansboro coach Tim Laspada was less than thrilled with the performance of some of his starting players.
“I’m a little unhappy with some of our starters. We put out second group in during the second half and we told them just to battle. And they did,” Laspada said. “That’s a great football team over there.”
Swansboro entered the second half with the ball only to go three and out on their first drive. The ensuing punt attempt was blocked by Havelock’s Kendall Frazier who ran in from three yards for the defensive score. Havelock closed out the rout with rushing scores from Cameron Hutchinson midway through the third quarter and Jason Young’s 14-yard run with 9:16 to go in the fourth quarter under a running clock.
Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said his coaches worked the team hard in practice all week and admitted that it paid off against Swansboro.
“We played very physical tonight and this is a great team win, all the way around,” Bryant said.
Havelock 19 20 13 8 – 60
Swansboro 7 0 0 0 -- 7
H-Gatling 2 run (Kick failed) 6:31
S-Hemby 56 pass from Frantz (Cummings kick) 3:12
H-Beligotti 13 run (Kick failed) 5:25
H-Barrett 28 pass from Sabdo (Mills kick) 1:17
H-Beligotti 2 run (Kick failed) 6:31
H-Gatling 3 run (Run failed) 2:42
H-Lockhart 29 pass from Sabdo (Gatling run) 0:54.7
H-Frazier 3 blocked punt (Run failed) 10:43
H-Hutchinson 3 run (Mills kick) 6:37
Young 14 run (Wilson run) 9:16
First downs 28 3
Rushes-yards 44-433 20-60
Passing 205 99
Comp-Att-Int 13-15-0 6-12-2
Punts 0-0 5-40
Fumbles-Lost 2/1 1/1
Penalties-Yards 9-95 7-58
RUSHING—H:Gatling 12-96, Owens 2-43, Sabdo 2-16, Wilson 4-7, Frazier 3-32, Webb 3-37, Beligotti 4-24, Young 9-110, Hutchinson 5-68. S:Bailey 4-5, Frantz 4-13, Hemby 6-11, Hodges 3-30, Reynolds 3-1.
RECEIVING—H:Owens 1-30, Frazier 1-12, Barrett 1-28, 7-126, Harris 1-15. S: Hemby 5-89, Hodges 2-11, Stewart 1- (-1).
PASSING—H: Sabdo 13-15-0 205. S: Frantz 6-12-2 93, Reynolds 2-2-0 6.
Mike McHugh is a reporter for the Jacksonville Daily News.