SPOTSWOOD, NJ - It was gold day at Spotswood High School Stadium and SHS students were decked out to support the Chargers for their home opener, but Dunellen High School played the role of spoiler, defeating Spotswood 44-20. The two teams have been facing off against each other since 1977 and Spotswood has won the last four outings until today, coming back from a 12 point deficit last year to win 14-12.
Dunellen's Qwentin Rose ran the opening kickoff 78 yards to set the tone on the afternoon. The Destroyers held a 16-0 lead in the opening quarter before Spotswood found the end zone for its first score of the day and the 2018 season. Spotswood's Tallen Smith connected with Eddie Rogers for a 26-yard pass scoring the Chargers' touchdown. Dunellen increased their lead to 22-7 in the second quarter on a 21-yard TD run by Baraka Yabidi. Spotswood answered back with a two-yard touchdown run by Smith, narrowing the lead to 22-14. However, the Destroyers took the wind out of the Chargers' comeback sails when quarterback Noah Wenzel found Andre Hart in the end zone with a 23-yard pass just before halftime.
Dunellen opened the scoring in the third quarter with Joe Olsommer's second touchdown of the day to give the Destroyers a 34-14 lead. Spotswood got their final score on a 19-yard run by Rogers. Dunellen closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter with a touchdown by Jacob Sanders.
Dunellen leads the overall series with Spotswood 16-11-1. After today's loss, the Chargers are winless in their first two games, losing last week's season opener to South Plainfield, 13-0. Spotswood will be looking for their first win of the season against their chief rival, South River High School next weekend.
The Chargers will travel to South River for the 1 p.m. kickoff on September 22. South River is the defending Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division champs. The Rams won the title last year after the Chargers held the Blue Division crown for 2014, 2015 and 2016. South River won the meeting between the two teams last year, defeating the Chargers 34-7. The Rams are 2-0 on the 2018 season, beating Roselle High School last week and Middlesex High School this afternoon by a score of 34-0.