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Starting early, but this kid is good. Torched my brother's team last night.




Spelman put up perhaps one of the best performances in Section 9 history in a 61-28 win over Warwick. He overcame his slow start to rush for 415 yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries. Spelman scored on runs of 13, 22, 41, 60, 67 and 81 yards.

His rushing total ranks third in Section 9 history behind Millbrook's Nick Finger, who put up 485 yards in a win over Tri-Valley in 2008, and Delaware Valley's Fred Riullano, had 448 yards against Livingston Manor a decade earlier.

Spelman, a senior who already has a full scholarship offer from the University at Albany, also completed 5-of-11 passes for 148 yards, hitting Tony Patrignelli and Justin Kaffenberger for touchdowns. Patrignelli added a 62-yard touchdown run.

"It feels really good because it just shows all that hard work in the offseason pays off," said Spelman, who politely deflected questions about himself, focusing instead on Monroe-Woodbury's team effort in its 60th straight win against a Section 9 opponent, a streak dating back to the start of the 2004 season. "We're just going to keep building on it from here. It's a team thing; it's a team performance."

Monroe-Woodbury, which trailed Warwick (0-1) 14-7 early in the second quarter, played without six injured starters. Early in the first, it looked like Spelman may also have been hurt. He left the game after running a play out of bounds and being hit on the Monroe-Woodbury sideline.


Laid out on the turf at Faller Field, Spelman clutched his head and then his stomach. As it turns out, he just had the wind knocked out of him.


"I just fell on the ball," Spelman said. "I knew I was coming back. I knew we had to score points to keep up with these guys."

Spelman returned a few plays later and, on the Crusaders' next drive, broke a 41-yard touchdown run. Monroe-Woodbury (1-0), the seven-time defending Section 9 Class AA champs, led 27-14 at halftime and went up 34-14 on an 81-yard run by Spelman 1:07 into the second half. He left midway through the fourth quarter.

Warwick quarterback John Garcia led the Wildcats with 238 yards and three touchdown passes. The Crusaders beat Warwick 62-7 in last year's Section 9 Class AA semifinals.

"He's a heck of an athlete. Obviously, the game plan was to stop (Spelman)," Warwick coach James Sciarra said. "He just made guys miss."

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