Spottsville, Beligotti pick off passes as Rams win 41-14

For Havelock’s Solomon Beligotti, it never hurt so good.

Beligotti’s third-quarter interception was one of three for the Havelock defense as the Rams beat Western Alamance 41-14 in the eastern 3A regional championship game Friday in Elon.

With the Warriors driving and threatening to cut into the Havelock lead, Beligotti jumped high into the air to pick off a Christian Daniels pass.

“Everybody said I got really high, but it really didn’t feel like,” Beligotti said of the interception.

Instead, he felt something else — in his calf.

“I jumped up in the air, caught a cramp and started screaming,” he said. “On the way down, still screaming. It felt great. The team’s over here hitting me on the head. I was trying to get off the field. It just felt great.”

Welton Spottsville had two interceptions for the Havelock defense, the first setting up the first touchdown of the game and the second in the final minute of the first half on the goal line that preserved Havelock’s 14-7 lead.

“We went out there and did our thing,” Spottsville said. “We knew they were going to pass the ball. That was one of the big things. They just passed it. I was there in the right spots. I had to make those big plays to help my team.”

Havelock held Western Alamance, which had been averaging 46.8 points per game, to its lowest point total of the season. Daniels, who had thrown seven interceptions in 14 previous games, was picked off three times by the Havelock defense, which kept the Warriors to 332 total yards.

The defensive performance stemmed from a simple strategy —  contain Daniels, a dual-threat quarterback with more than 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing who had accounted for 37 touchdowns on the season.

“Our job was just to stay in our gaps and make sure the quarterback didn’t roll out. He’s a fast guy,” Havelock defensive lineman Avery Jones said.

Daniels completed 21 passes for 204 yards. He had six carries for 42 yards.

“We had to be able to contain him somehow,” Havelock coach Caleb King said. “He’s an unbelievable player. What he’s able to do with the football, he’s one of a kind. He’s very, very difficult to prepare for because he’s so elite.

“We had to keep him in prison. We had to take away what he wanted to do, where he wanted to throw the ball. Coach (Matt) Handley, Coach (Kenny) Frazier, Coach (Bob) Sabdo, Coach (Chase) Holloman — they do a great job every week on defense getting those guys ready to go.”

Havelock lost to Rocky Mount in triple overtime in last year’s eastern regional title game. Jones said he and his defensive teammates didn’t want to lose another one.

“Last year, we couldn’t make that one play to stop them,” he said. “We felt like this year was a redemption year.”