McCarthy throws for three scores, runs for another in Haddonfield win

By on September 24, 2022 0

HADDONFIELD – It’s not always easy to find Charlie Klaus.

Haddonfield quarterback Declan McCarthy was successful Friday night, however.

“He’s a very versatile player,” McCarthy said. “He’s fast, he’s fast, he’s tough – he can play wide, he can play slots, he can play running back. He can play almost anywhere on the pitch.

Klaus found himself in the end zone twice, at the end of McCarthy’s passes, as the Bulldawgs beat Woodbury, 28-6, in a meeting of the defending division champions.

McCarthy hit Klaus with a 13-yard pass to open the scoring in the first quarter and found it with a 37-yard strike from the sideline with 1:26 left in the first half.

“The first was just an exit route,” McCarthy said. “He was wide open. The second – wide open again. I think it goes more to the coaches – they made great play calls, the line blocked perfectly and it just led to great plays overall.

Big plays were hard to come by against a Woodbury side that held Haddonfield (3-0) to just 145 yards and nine first downs.

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Woodbury (4-1) did only slightly better, on a defense-dominated night, with 167 yards and 10 first downs. The Thundering Herd made it a one-score game on the first play of the fourth quarter, when Bryan Johnson hit JaBron Solomon with a 27-yard touchdown pass, but Haddonfield responded with a 2-yard TD executed by McCarthy, and after an interception by Ryan Foley, added a decisive score on a 38-yard pass from McCarthy to Chris Clax.

“There were things that shot us in the foot,” Haddonfield coach Frank DeLano said. “But I don’t want, completely, the narrative to be how badly we played. They’re a really good football team, and too often you read articles and everyone blames themselves, and wait a second – they’re a damn good football team. They didn’t end up at Rutgers last year by accident.

Haddonfield 28, Woodbury 6

Three things we learned

McCarthy also has some versatility: Haddonfield fielded him in some situations at center linebacker and also moved him to the defensive line. It’s not often you see a quarterback trash the opposing quarterback, but McCarthy did — he pulled Johnson down for an 8-yard loss early in the second quarter. “I was playing an end position, which bounces a lot,” he said. “It was so fun to come out for the first time this season and have fun. We were just doing our normal stuff and staying tough.

You are not part of any of these teams: Woodbury averaged 1.4 yards on 31 rushing attempts, and 20 of the 44 yards the Thundering Herd picked up came on a scramble from Bryan Johnson with the game decided in the final minute. Haddonfield averaged 0.75 yards – 26 yards on 34 attempts, culminating in a 20-yard run from McCarthy.

Clax is back. The Haddonfield tight end/edge rusher had been limited to defensive duties by a shoulder injury, but he made his first catch of the season on Friday, and he had a 38-yard touchdown on fourth-and-9 with 1:56 to go.

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game balls

For Woodbury, JaBron Solomon caught nine passes for 63 yards, including the Thundering Herd’s only touchdown. For Haddonfield, it has to be McCarthy, who now has nine touchdown passes this season.

They said it

Woodbury coach Anthony Reagan:

“The things we have to grow from are just small things. We’ll probably go back and watch five or six plays, when we watch a movie, and say if you had done this better and done that better, it probably would have been different; it was one of those types of games.

Haddonfield coach Frank DeLano on Klaus’ second touchdown:

“They came out on a completely different front than they showed on tape. They came out in an odd front all year and they were showing off a 40s look. Good for them. But in terms of coverage, behind that, we got exactly what we thought on that one, and it worked well for us.

“We have a lot of guys making a lot of contributions. Like Claxie – he’s an underrated guy in South Jersey, period. It’s his first take of the season, in a very big spot, where we try to block the match.

Chris Clax, on defending Haddonfield:

“They had me at d-tackle this week instead of linebacker, and I can’t lie – I loved that. They’re a great football team – a great o-line, but I think we can play with the best of them. Our defense was incredible today. Everyone around the board.

John A. Lewis is a sportswriter for the Burlington County Times, the Courier Post and the Vineland Daily Journal. Email him at [email protected] Please consider supporting local journalism with a subscription.