Sanderson continued to dominate on the young football season as as the Spartans rolled over visiting Apex 48-6 Thursday night.
Sanderson (3-0) lost the shutout late in the third quarter, its first points allowed on the season. The defense more than made up for that with four forced turnovers, three of which were returned for touchdowns.
“Our defensive coordinator, coach (Marcus) Gladden, does a great job getting the guys flying around. We’ve got a lot of experience back; that always helps,” Sanderson coach Ben Kolstad said.
Sanderson forced an Apex punt to start the game, and wasted little time getting on the board. The Spartans got great field position following the punt return, and it took just three plays and 30 yards before Justin Dunn’s 7-yard scamper into the end zone got things going.
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On Apex’s next possession, Alim McNeill picked off Duke Fruehauf’s pass and returned it 22 yards for an early 14-0 lead four minutes into the game.
The Cougars struggled moving the ball most of the game.
On eight first-half possessions, Apex (0-3) punted the ball four times, had three turnovers that were returned for scores, and the Cougars took a knee to run out the clock on their final one.
“Our defense as a whole did a great job. We pride ourselves on being a unit, and our kids executed,” said Kolstad.
The second half began the same as the first half did – with a Spartan score.
Just two minutes on their first drive, Dunn hit a wide open Trent Pennix across the middle of the field for a 57-yard catch and run score. And Sanderson’s defense responded when McNeill recovered a fumble and ran it 10 yards for a quick score, putting the Spartans on top 48-0.
“(The defense) is the energy for this team. Day in, day out, the energy is coming from our defense. We get it from our coach,” said McNeill. “That energy comes from our coach and we take it to the field. You can expect it every game. No offense can overpower us when we’re coming hard.”
Apex got on the board with three minutes left in the third quarter.
Fruehauf found Anthony Barnes in the end zone for a 15-yard score, ending Sanderson’s attempt at a third-straight shutout.
Along with McNeill’s two scores, Jordan Logan matched him with two touchdowns of his own. The running back had a 50-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and a two-yard score just four minutes later. Logan finished with a game-high 109 yards on 10 carries.
Tyrell Ford rounded out the defensive scoring with a 39-yard interception return just after Logan’s second touchdown run.