By Laura Amato
Undefeated feels pretty good for the Springfield Gardens football team right about now.
The Golden Eagles are looking to stand out this season and they did just that Saturday, cruising to a 35-0 victory over Lafayette in a PSAL Bowl Conference tilt.
The win lifts the squad to 5-0 on the season and effectively sent a message to the rest of the league—this team is ready to run over anyone.
“I’m just happy that we’re 5-0,” said Springfield Gardens coach Charles Yarborough. “I’m glad that the boys took care of business. That’s really what it was all about. Take care of business and win the game.”
Fresh off a down-to-the-wire victory over Jefferson in week four, the Eagles came out firing on all cylinders from the opening whistle, jumping out to an eight-point lead as Steve Cadesti found the end zone on the squad’s opening drive.
From there on out, it was all Springfield Gardens.
The Eagles controlled tempo, set the pace and, most importantly, ran the ball up the field.
Senai Haywood led the charge in the second quarter, notching a pair of touchdown runs—from 22 and 70 yards out—taking advantage of the blocks in front of him and making Patriots defenders miss in the open field.
“Today, offensively, I just felt like the run game was there,” Haywood said. “The o-line was doing a good job and overall it was just a really solid game for the whole team. It was very important to just come out and start running.”
Springfield Gardens was completely in control at the break—running just six plays in the second quarter and racking up three touchdowns, including a blocked punt recovered in the end zone. The Eagles effectively put the game away, however, on the first play of the second half when Tyreece Taylor returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
“The blocking was there and I saw a big hole and I saw the end zone,” Taylor said. “So I just ran straight there. I didn’t want anybody to stop me. If we have control of the game, that means we can do anything we want.”
While Springfield Gardens’ offense was rolling, the Eagles defense refused to break, determined to preserve the shutout even after the starters were pulled from the game.
The Patriots marched down the field twice in the second half, but couldn’t get on the board, turning the ball over on downs on both drives.
“It was nice to see the subs taking pride in keeping the shutout,” Yarborough said. “You can really say it was a full team effort.”
The Eagles, who racked up 255 yards of offense, are nothing short of confident at this point in the season, but the team knows the biggest test is still to come. Springfield Gardens takes on reigning champs Truman in week six, looking for a bit of revenge for last year’s loss and, most importantly, maintaining that undefeated feeling.
“This boosts our confidence,” Taylor said. “It brings us into Truman knowing that we can’t be stopped, we’re going to work hard in practice and be ready to get there.”