October 28, 2015

Sparked By Mayfield’s Power Running, Hun Football Routs Lawrenceville 36-0

Bringing an undefeated record into its game at Lawrenceville last Saturday, the Hun School football team didn’t look like a juggernaut in the early stages of the contest.

The rivals were tied at 0-0 after the first quarter with the Raiders squandering some opportunities through some sloppy play.

Hun post-graduate running back/linebacker Imamu Mayfield acknowledged that the Raiders got off to a sluggish start.

“We started off flat, we can attribute that to having a pretty bad week of practice leading into this game,” said Mayfield.

“Our coaches have been telling us play like you practice and that is why we started out pretty slow.”

Early in the second quarter, a 68-yard touchdown pass from Simon Vadas to Josh Henderson got the Raiders up to speed.
“That was definitely a momentum swing for us,” said Mayfield. “We needed some confidence in our passing game because our running game was a little slow in the beginning so that helped us out a lot on offense.”

Minutes later, Mayfield bulled 17 yards for a touchdown as Hun built a 14-0 halftime lead.

“On that play the coach was like we have got to get this boys, we have got to punch it in; it was now or never because before that our run game wasn’t working that well,” said Mayfield. “So I just told myself to go hard and run angry.”

Hun never looked back after that, rolling to a 36-0 victory as it improved to 6-0.

“We came out firing in the second half,” asserted Mayfield. “We made some adjustments at halftime so that is why things got working in the second half.”

In the third quarter, Mayfield got things working for the Hun running game, swerving and bouncing through the Lawrenceville defense for a 33-yard touchdown run as the Raiders increased their lead to 20-0.

“Another thing coach said at halftime is that we have to stop tip-toeing so I just hit the hole and bounced it out,” said the 5’9, 210-pound Mayfield, who ended up rushing for 101 yards on 12 carries in the victory. “I made some people turn around and got in.”

Mayfield, who also plays linebacker, helped the Hun defense get the job done.

“They were getting us with their quick passing game but another thing at halftime was that we made some adjustments to that and we cut that short,” said Mayfield. “We were flying to the ball, rallying to tackle. The defense held strong today.”

In reflecting on Hun’s 6-0 start, Mayfield believes the team draws strength through unity.

“Everyone on the team loves football; that’s where it all matters,” said Mayfield.

“We practice hard most of the time. We all bonded. There are a lot of PGs on this team and we all love each other. We play for each other so when our backs are to the wall, we really step up and fight hard.”

Coming to Hun after a stellar career for Manalapan High, Mayfield has fit in well with the school and the team.

“I love Hun, I was accepted with open arms,” said Mayfield. “The guys have been nothing but great to me. I have brothers here and it is going to be an experience I am going to remember the rest of my life.”

Hun head coach Todd Smith loves having Mayfield playing for him. “Imamu is a special player; he is often, if not the best player on the field, one of the best players,” said Smith.

“He just makes things happen. He is low to the ground. He is a multiple cut guy so he can make you miss but he has got the power to just run you over.”

Smith sensed that something was missing for the Raiders coming into the contest.

“We had a horrible week of practice, not because of the kids’ effort, we were
super banged up and kids were getting sick,” said Smith.

“We didn’t have flow, we didn’t have mesh, and we didn’t have continuity. We got Simon (Vadas) back in the middle of the week, he was out with pneumonia over the weekend. Fred (Hansard) wasn’t able to play this week, we rested him up.”

The Hun defense hasn’t rested this season, emerging as a strength for the Raiders.

“Our defense has been playing lights out this year, the defense is really solid,” asserted Smith, who got a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown from defensive back Gabriel Cohen in the third quarter.

“Our offense has given up a bunch of points on ourselves this year, but I think our defense has only given up 17 points all season when they have been on the field.”

Smith liked the effort his players gave him the second half against Lawrenceville.

“I think we got our act together, we started coming off the ball and we started to get that downhill running game going a little bit,” said Smith.

“We have been really happy with the passing game over the last two weeks; it has not been as efficient as we want it to be but it is getting there. Everything is a work in progress.”

Noting that his team seemed flat the last few weeks, Smith wants the Raiders to get fired up as they head into the final two games of the season.

“We have got to make sure as a coaching staff that our kids are still excited to play the game,” said Smith.

“I don’t know if we were excited to play today. Hopefully this second half against Lawrenceville will spark us to get excited for this week of practice and we will carry it over.”

The Raiders have plenty of reason to be excited as they host Peddie (5-1) this Saturday in a Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) showdown.

“They are an outstanding football team, I have never seen a team have a turnaround like that,” said Smith.

“The amount of support that Peddie has given that team and their new coach (former Hun star and assistant coach Chris Malleo) is outstanding. It is something that every coach in the MAPL would want. He is doing a great job with them. He is putting athletes in great positions to make plays and they come off the ball. They play with emotion and they are a great football team so we have to be ready to match that emotion.”

Mayfield, for his part, believes the Raiders will be primed to come out hard against Peddie.

“This game was an eye-opener, saying that we can’t come out flat,” said Mayfield.

“Peddie is a good team and we have just got to go full speed the whole game. There is no coming out slow because they will catch us. We need to have a better week of practice this week and hopefully play the perfect game we have been looking for all year.”