RALEIGH — Sanderson took advantage of four first-half Broughton turnovers to build an early lead in a 42-16 Cap Eight win for the Spartans on Friday night.
Sanderson (4-4, 2-2) is fighting to post a winning record under coach Ben Kolstad, who left a successful Cary program to coach the Spartans this year, while the Caps (0-4, 0-8) are still looking for their first win for first-year coach Billy Lane.
Kolstad was pleased with his team’s approach to Friday’s home game.
“We started out really strong and that’s what we needed to do tonight,” Kolstad said. “It’s always dangerous playing a no-win team because you know they’ve got nothing to lose and they can take some chances. We came to play. We didn’t play so well down the stretch, but we’ll get better at that.”
Sanderson opened the game with a 73-yard, 11-play touchdown drive. Workhorse running back Jeriko Styles scored on a 13-yard run. Grayson Gregory then hit his first of six extra points.
Broughton fumbled away the kickoff return, with Zairee Parker recovering for the Spartans.
On the next play, Styles went 21 yards for another touchdown, just 13 seconds after his first score.
After Broughton got the ball back, Sanderson’s defense forced another turnover just two plays later. Caps quarterback Patrick Kearney was sacked and lost the ball. Spartan James Morales recovered this miscue and two plays later Styles had his third touchdown on a 6-yard run. Halfway through the first quarter it was 21-0.
“Right off the bat we had several quick turnovers, put the ball on the ground,” Lane said. “(The) defense was on the field almost the entire first quarter and the field was slanted downhill in Sanderson’s favor. We’ve told the guys we have to play clean games. Offensively, it’s turnovers and penalties. And we’ve also been hurt with big negative yardage plays. But we’re a team of grinders and Monday we’ll start getting ready for Wakefield.”
Styles added another 21-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and ended the contest with four touchdowns and 137 yards on 25 carries.
Parker scored on a 58-yard run and had 119 yards rushing. Spartans quarterback Matt Koehler got his team’s other score on a 38-yard run.
Broughton got its points on a 27-yard field goal by Andrew King on the last play of the half and on touchdown passes from Kearney to Keenan Willard and Kanden Rogers in the second half.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but we’ve been in every game we’ve played this year,” Kolstad said. “We’ve had too many turnovers, but if we can fix that we can beat anybody. I thought the defense played phenomenal tonight.”