08/26/12 — Early mistakes troublesome for Spring Creek

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Early mistakes troublesome for Spring Creek

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 26, 2012 1:52 AM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- A shanked punt.

An interception.

A lost fumble.

A healthy dose of Jamaz Richardson.

All those factors spelled trouble for the Spring Creek varsity football team during a 13-minute stretch in the opening half Friday evening. Lejeune converted those miscues into 19 points, while Richardson rushed for 231 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-14 victory at "The Swamp."

"Tonight, it was one play here offensively and one play here defensively that you just wanted it (the ball) back," Gators head coach Aaron Sanders said. "If we could have done something a little bit different here, or a little bit different there ...

"But, you know what, that's growing pains of a young football team and that's what we've got at the end of the day."

Lejeune needed just one offensive play to get on the scoreboard after the Gators' first special-teams error of the night. Richardson galloped 49 yards to the end zone on a sweep-right play.

After each team notched its first defensive stop of the evening, Devilpups defensive back Malcolm Hunter picked off a Spring Creek pass. Three plays later, senior back Nate Fisher bulled his way over for a touchdown from the 6-yard line.

Fisher's fumble recovery late in the opening period eventually led to Richardson's second touchdown, a 20-yard jaunt, with 15 seconds elapsed into the second quarter. Lejeune failed on its two-point conversion attempt for the 19-0 lead.

"Coming off that loss (to Swansboro) last week, a first game where we made so many mistakes and beat ourselves, today we felt more comfortable and more confident," Lejeune head coach Darryl Schwartz said. "You can see that we bared down and worked really hard. Spring Creek had some really good players, too, so we're proud of ourselves that we were able to go and make less mistakes ... improve against a good team."

The Gators pulled to within 19-7 on Tre Hammonds' 14-yard halfback option touchdown pass to Luke Miller and Anthony Russo's PAT.

Lejeune scratched again on Chad Collins' touchdown plunge on third-and-goal from the 1. Collins and Morgan Dudely hooked up for a fourth-down, 14-yard scoring pass that capped a 12-play, six-minute drive to start the third quarter.

Richardson eclipsed the 200-yard plateau on his final TD -- a 39-yard romp toward the end of the third period. Lejeune finished with 364 rushing yards and out-gained Spring Creek 386-174 in total yards.

"We are really blessed with two good backs," Schwartz said. "We found out early on the sweeps were doing so well, why stop? That's how I coach, keep doing the same play until they stop it and that's what we did."

Hammonds' 13-yard touchdown run on a botched fourth-quarter field goal attempt capped the Gators' scoring. Hammonds accounted for 64 yards of offense, while DeVante Faison and Russo contributed 63 yards and 49 yards, respectively.

"I'm really happy with how hard the boys fought," Sanders said.

The Devilpups exited 1-1 and improved to 6-2 against Carolina 1-A Conference opposition since 2004. The Gators dropped to 0-2 and are 2-10 all-time in home-opening games.