Blue Devil football takes on Williamstown Braves tonight

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Nygel Waugh, Reporter

After a two-week break due to COVID-19,Hammonton Blue Devils quickly rebounded last Saturday to a 37-7 victory over Cedar Creek, led by three-year starter Jaiden Abrams who rushed for 85 yards and scored three touchdowns.

After throwing three interceptions against St. Augustine Prep on October 23, senior quarterback Kyle Vandever bounced back after completing 3 out of 11 passes to rack up 50 passing yards and 1 touchdown.

The Blues Devils typically play a wing-t offense, which does not involve the quarterback throwing very much. In fact, over the last three years, Hammonton quarterbacks have only thrown six games with 10 or more attempts, losing all six games with a completion success rate of under 50%.

Vandever successfully completed three out of four passes against the Cedar Creek Pirates and went on to throw a touchdown pass on 4 and 20 to senior wide receiver Santino Rao. Rao secured his second touchdown of the season, the only receiver to have scored so far this season.

No one is more happy and satisfied to be back on the field than 15 year coach and 6 year offensive coordinator and all time rushing yard leader Gregg Silvesti.

¨It felt great to get out there and play glad we got the win,´´ he said.

Even though he was happy with the win, he still knows that the team needs to get better.

¨We need to get better conditioning to get our legs underneath us,” he said.

Tonight, the Blue Devils ( 3-1) play Group 5 powerhouse Williamstown Braves (4-1), who in the last two years have won sectional championship. Hammonton, on the other hand, has been in the Finals the last 2 out of the 3 years. Last year, they also won the school’s first Group 4 championship and made it to its bowl game, but failed to overtake Shawnee.

This year’s playoffs are different. The NJSIAA is calling this year’s playoffs “Postseason Grouping,” which is a 4-team playoff format which features Top 20 teams in South Jersey, which lasts two weeks.
Hammonton is in a bracket with Williamtown (4-2) and St.Augustine (3-2).

Williamtown won their first four games of the season but have fallen into a slump, losing their last two games to St.Augustine (17-16) in overtime and Millville (16-8).

Hammonton won their first 2 games of the season but lost to St.Augustine (21-7) Week 3. However, the team lost two games on the schedule due to COVID-19 but won last Saturday to Cedar Creek 37-7. The team had an almost perfect game, but a fumble junior CJ Rossiter allowed Cedar Creek to score on a fourth down.

Offensive coordinator Coach Silvest knows it going to be battle offense, but the coach says he has some trick plays up his sleeves with the return of senior Keyshun Clayton, who threw the last trick play for Hammonton for a Touchdown to 2021 graduate tight-end Dalton Chaney against Absegami Braves in a 49-21 win last year.

Hammonton plays Williamstown in the first round of the four-team playoff format. Even though Hammonton will not come home with a trophy this year, they will get another chance to extend their bragging rights at 7:00 in Williamstown.