HAMPDEN — It was simply a matter of too much speed.
Hampden Academy’s lightning-quick running back tandem of senior Nick Stevens and junior Logan Steward combined for 510 rushing yards and eight touchdowns as the Hampden Academy Broncos beat the Old Town Coyotes 62-30 in an entertaining Friday night football shootout.
Neither team punted in the affair.
Hampden Academy improved to 2-1 while Old Town fell to 0-3.
Stevens gained 328 yards on 13 carries and Steward racked up 182 yards on 11 carries. Stevens scored five touchdowns and Steward rushed for three and also threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Matt Haws.
Old Town’s Dan Rivers turned in an exceptional performance in defeat, lugging the ball 32 times for 248 yards and rolling up more than 50 return yards. He also tossed a three-yard TD pass to Bryan Guay as Old Town’s compact double-wing caused problems for the Broncos.
The Hampden Academy offensive line, featuring Logan Lafayette, Cameron Prescott, Joey Doyon, Josh DeLima and Jackson Cust, was able to control the line of scrimmage and create large holes for Stevens and Steward.
The Broncos had eight running plays that garnered at least 24 yards, including five that went for at least 42 yards.
“We were quick off the ball, we stayed low and we kept blocking down-field,” said junior guard Doyon.
“We were fired up. We were aggressive,” said senior tackle DeLima.
“The line carried us,” said Steward. “They got their blocks done.”
“It all starts with the line,” agreed Stevens. “We’ve had them for a long time so we’re comfortable with them. They created big holes for us.”
Steward opened the scoring with a 24-yard run on HA’s third play from scrimmage and, after Rivers capped a 10-play, 99-yard drive with his pass to Guay, Steward finished off a three-play, 37-yard march with a 16-yard run.
After the Broncos stopped the Coyotes on a fourth-and-two at the OT-38, three consecutive runs by Stevens, capped by his 34-yard TD dash, made it 21-6.
It was Steward’s turn on the next drive and he made it 28-6 with a 54-yard burst.
Old Town scored the final points of the first half as an eight-play 49-yard drive, highlighted by Rivers’ 18-yard run in which he dragged three Bronco tacklers an extra seven yards, culminated in a Tyler Barnes four-yard TD run.
But the Broncos put the game away with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter.
First, Steward threw a halfback option pass to Haws in the right flats and Haws broke two tackles en route to the end zone.
“We’ve been working on that play a lot,” said Steward, who faked like he was going to run it.
Then, after Steward recovered an Old Town fumble, Stevens sprinted 49 yards on the next play to expand the lead to 42-12.
Rivers scooted 42 yards to make it 42-18 but, early in the fourth quarter, Stevens raced 73 yards for a touchdown.
Cameron Archer answered for Old Town with a 30-yard TD pass to Dylan Miles.
Stevens ran 42 yards for his fourth touchdown and, after a two-yard plunge by Old Town’s Jon Toole with just 48 seconds left in regulation made it 56-30, the Broncos’ first offensive unit was sent back onto the field and Stevens capped his memorable evening with a 58-yard run.
Stephen Lilly rushed for 95 yards on 12 caries in the second half for Old Town.
“We definitely had the offense but we have to spend more time on defense,” said Rivers. “They were a lot faster than us. Their speed killed us.”
Rivers, who completed three passes to Guay for 52 yards, praised his team’s offensive line for their performance.
“Their offense was good. (Rivers) was good,” said Doyon.
“They really tested our defense,” said Steward.
The Coyote offensive line featured Evan Roy, Peter Wilcox, Travis Waterman, Zach Bartlett, Dylan Miles, Kyle Cote and Matt Seymore.
Old Town coach Steve Calande said the Broncos had an advantage in speed and strength and that left his defense “reaching and grabbing” to try to make tackles.
And he noted that his players can’t stop top-notch backs like Steward and Stevens with arm tackles.
Calande lauded Rivers’ performance, saying he always plays “with a lot of heart.”
Jeddy Doyon and Matt Martin were two of the defensive stalwarts for the Broncos.
Correction: A previous version of a photo cutline misidentified Logan Steward as Nick Stevens.