September 5, 2015
By Chris Ryan
SPARTA – Despite several red zone miscues, DePaul had no issue
Kareem Walker ran for three touchdowns and caught one more, while the Spartan defense forced three turnover to pace DePaul, No. 10 in the NJ.com Top 20, to a 37-0 win over Pope John on Saturday in Sparta.
DePaul set the tone early, calling 10 straight running plays on its opening drive to go 80 yards for a touchdown. Walker capped off the drive with a 1-yard plunge, giving him 43 yards on seven carries during the opening series.
DePaul continued to get great field position as its defense forced three first half turnovers, but the Spartans struggled to capitalize on some of those opportunities. Walker fumbled on back to back red zone trips, both ending with Pope John recovering. DePaul also turned it over on downs once in the red zone and Applewhite threw an interception in the red zone just before halftime.
But the Spartans did take advantage on two trips, with Walker scoring on a 6-yard run in the second quarter and Applewhite hitting Terell Vassel for a 35-yard touchdown pass later in the second.
Defensively, DePaul was in sync from the start, halting several runs in the backfield and pressuring Pope John quarterback Sonny Abramson. Along with forcing three first half turnovers, DePaul’s defense did not allow Pope John to cross midfield in the first half.
Defensive end Quayshon Alexander injured his shoulder on DePaul’s first defensive series of the game and did not return, but the Spartan defensive line relied on its depth to rally without the senior.
Pope John pushed past midfield to open the second half, but a turnover on downs gave it back to DePaul. After a 40-yard catch by Vassel put the Spartans at the 9-yard line, Walker caught an 8-yard pass in the flat on third and goal, and he walked into the endzone for his third touchdown of the day.
On Pope John’s next play from scrimmage, Scott Lavelle intercepted a pass over the middle, running it back to the 3-yard line. Walker found his way into the end zone on the next play.
Walker finished with 21 carries for130 yards and three touchdowns, plus one catch for eight yards and one touchdown. Applewhite finished 7-for-12 for 113 yards and two touchdowns.