HAMPTON — Winnacunnet senior Tyler Hoar, in just his second start at quarterback, missed two straight series with a back issue midway through the first quarter of Friday’s Division football game against Spaulding.
The game was scoreless at the time, and Hoar wanted to make an immediate impact when he returned to the field on Winnacunnet’s first possession of the second quarter.
He just did that.
Hoar rushed for two touchdowns in just over four minutes as Winnacunnet took a 14-0 lead into the locker room and the Warriors never looked back, pulling out a 35-7 win over Spaulding.
“It was rough going out, it wasn’t something I expected," Hoar said. "But once I got back in I wanted to get us going and get this game over.”
Hoar scored on runs of 2 and 15 in the second quarter and finished the night with 99 yards on 11 carries.
“He’s getting better each week,” Winnacunnet coach Ron Auffant said. “He showed that he has some quickness and speed. I saw a lot of positives with (Hoar) out there tonight. We were scrambling there with our third quarterback when (Hoar) went out, and when those things happen your defense keeps you in the game.”
Hoar, who was penciled in as a starting wide receiver, was pressed into quarterback duty in the fourth quarter of Winnacunnet's season opener at Windham.
It was the 16th straight win for the Warriors, who improved to 3-0 on the season and is the lone remaining undefeated team in Division I East.
“This was a hard-fought win,” Auffant said. “(Spaulding) came to play and played hard. Kevin (Hebert, Spaulding's coach) had them prepared. I thought we ran the ball a lot better in the second half, and we just stayed the course.
"Those (Spaulding) kids played had. I give them a lot of credit.”
Hoar's second touchdown of the night was aided by a 2-yard Spaulding punt, giving the Warriors a first-and-10 at the Spaulding 35 with 2:08 left in the first half.
Hoar ran for 20 yards on first down and then went in untouched around left end for the 15-yard score, giving Winnacunnet the 14-point lead with 1:51 left into halftime.
Spaulding reached the end zone for the first time this season in the fourth quarter. Senior Kealian Craig (21 carries, 98 yards) took a hand off from junior Ryan Lane and scampered down the Red Raider sideline 59 yards for the score, cutting Winnacunnet's lead to 28-7 with 8:08 left.
“It’s a great feeling seeing him get in the end zone,” Hebert said. “For us, it’s the small things. When you’re taking a program that has struggled you build off that stuff and you need to feel it and feel the emotion of football.”
Winnacunnet played the game without starting quarterback Joe LaRosa (concussion) as well as junior running back Jordan Fuller and senior Lou Granger, who ran for 170 yards and scored four touchdowns in last week’s win over Portsmouth.
However, the deep Warriors' ground attack still managed to run the ball for 336 yards, 216 of those in final 24 minutes.
“I thought (Spaulding) played harder than we did in the first half,” Auffant said. “We talked about that at halftime and we made some adjustments on the offensive line with some of things we were doing.”
Winnacunnet senior Brendan Kacmarcik ran for a game-high 152 yards, including a pair of 3-yard touchdowns in the second half.
“He’s a great running back,” Hoar said. “He’s always hitting the holes as fast as he can and I don’t think anyone can touch him when he is gets in the open field."
Kacmarcik had a 29-yard run on his first carry of the night, and had more eight more carries of 5-plus yards.
Winnacunnet junior Richard Camarato added 84 yards on just nine carries.
“This just shows that we have a lot of depth,” Hoar said. “I think if we can get some things down, we can make a good run this season."
The Warriors closed out the scoring late in the fourth quarter as sophomore Patrick Britton found a wide open Seamus Fenlon in the corner of the end zone on a 9-yard scoring strike.
WARRIORS 35, RED RAIDERS 7
Spaulding 0 0 0 7—7
Winnacunnet 0 14 7 14—35
Win—Hoar 2 run (Madore kick), 6:07.
Win—Hoar 15 run (Madore kick), 1:51.
Win—B.Kacmarcik 3 run (Madore kick), 6:28.
Win—B.Kacmarcik 3 run (Madore kick), 9:29.
Spa—Craig 59 run (Bernier kick), 8:08.
Win—Fenlon 9 pass from Britton (Madore kick), 4:57.
RUSHING—Spaulding, Craig 21-98, Craig 16-58, Dixon 6-34, Carey 2-4, Lane 5-(minus-10), Dixon 6-34. Winnacunnet, B.Kacmarcik 20-152, Camarato 9-84, Hoar 11-99, Britton 1-1.
PASSING—Spaulding, Lane 2-2—5. Winnacunnet, Hoar 1-4—14, Britton 1-2—9 (TD).
RECEIVING—Spaulding, King 1-5, Craig 1-0. Winnacunnet, B.Kacmarcik 1-14, Fenlon 1-9.