WESTFIELD, NJ — The crowd fell silent as an ambulance drove onto the field for an injured North Hunterdon football player during the Westfield Blue Devil’s assertive 45-6 victory Saturday.
“Yeah, it was scary. Hopefully everything is all right,” Westfield head coach Jim DeSarno said. “He was able to move his hands and feet and he was talking. He was in pain, but hopefully he’s all right. He had a neck injury, so they were just being very precautious.”
The injury occurred with 2:32 left in the second quarter, when Westfield was already up 31-6. The hot start was fueled by excellent defense and special teams’ plays including a long punt return touchdown by Jelani Pierre.
An interception by Blue Devil Jeff Gagum early in the first quarter lead to a field goal, which put Westfield up 10-0 and changed the momentum of the game. It added to running back Jack Curry’s 1-yard touchdown on their first drive.
Curry was able to tack on two more short rushing touchdowns later in the game. The other Westfield touchdowns were both tossed by quarterback Phil Martini — one to wide receiver Jack Shirk and one to tight end Chris Boutsikaris.
“I felt good about our performance. Defensively, I thought we were as good as we were all year. Offensively, we got the passing game going a little bit, which we’ve been struggling with,” DeSarno said. “I thought it was a nice team effort and nice to get a lot of players into the game, so we had a lot of participation which was really good.”
The highlight of the day for the North Hunterdon Lions was a long touchdown run by Rob Marron on a lateral pass from a teammate who was being tackled. However, they failed to convert the extra point. Other than the Lions’ lone touchdown, it was all Westfield.
“We’re doing well. We’ve played well in the games we’ve played so far, but we’ve got to take it week by week,” DeSarno said. “We’re a long way from accomplishing anything. We told the kids that before the game, and it’s really true.”
Westfield (6-0) will next take on Watchung Hills (2-5) at 1 p.m. next Saturday in Westfield. North Hunterdon (3-4) will play Bridgewater-Raritan (7-0) at 7 p.m. next Friday under the lights at North Hunterdon High School.
Eric Storms is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.