Notre Dame and Hopewell Valley clash during the Mercer County “Game of the Week”

Notre Dame High School football remains undefeated this season.

Notre Dame kept that perfect log at 7-0 when it secured a 42-6 victory over Hopewell Valley Central High School on Oct. 18 in Hopewell.

Offensively, Notre Dame was rolling from the beginning of the first quarter when junior running back Rickey Spruill returned an 80-yard kickoff for a touchdown.

Spruill would add another touchdown in the first half, after catching a 16-yard pass from junior quarterback Jake Renda. Later in the game, Spruill would also produce defensively for the Irish by collecting an interception.

Renda on the night threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns and added 24 yards on the ground. Senior wide receiver Leon Jones caught a touchdown from Renda and collected 78 receiving yards.

“This whole week, coach has been talking about stepping up in practice and really keeping up the intensity. We wanted to spread the ball around and pass the ball more this week and be able to air it out to guys like Leon Jones and Rickey Spruill,” Renda said.

He said he had a good feeling about the offense coming into this year.

“We had so many guys coming back this year and during the offseason we worked out every single day with each other. This is a great group of guys,” Renda said. “Especially the whole offensive line – most of the guys came back too, which was a huge bonus. We have a lot of big guys on this line.”

Renda said for the team, it is about improving in practice every week to be the best team they can be heading into the state playoffs.

The Irish’s offensive production continued with senior running backs Coleon Williams and Cortaz Williams. Coleon Williams led the rushing attack with 93 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, while Cortaz Williams produced 40 yards and a touchdown, as well.

“Defensively, the team played great. They were very physical and hit their gaps and did everything that we asked them to do,” Coach Sean Clancy said. “On offense, Hopewell is a well coached and were taking away primarily what we try to do, so we went to the passing game and a few other things. Our kids got better today.”

He said the team is making progress every week and that began with the team’s preseason work in June.

“They are dedicated to each other and tight knit group. I knew we would play well this season and have been excited about what we have been able to do so far as a team,” Clancy said. “We tell the guys to strive to do their best and everyday you can get better. The team came out crisper and quicker tonight.”

The Hopewell Valley Central Bulldogs struggled to get the offense moving. However, junior Tommy Belsky led the team during the matchup with 88-yards on 16 carries and scored the team’s only touchdown of the night when he produced a 63-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, the Bulldogs contained Notre Dame star running back Cortaz Williams to only 40 yards, but had difficulty with the Irish’s other options on offense, like Coleon Williams.

Notre Dame will look to continue its undefeated season with a home contest scheduled against Nottingham High School on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

This week, Hopewell Valley (4-2)  will look to bounce back on the road against Princeton High School on Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.