Tag: Bill Hamilton

Smith, South Plainfield ground game tame South River, 35-14

South Plainfield managed just one win a year ago in what turned out to be a COVID-shortened five-game season.

Enter a brand-new head coach, Tigers alum Bill Hamilton, and they’re 1-0 out of the box.

Sophomore Patrick Smith was the hot hand for South Plainfield, rushing for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, part of a ground game that rolled off 387 yards, en route to a 35-14 Week Zero win over South River at historic Bill Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Smith had touchdown runs of 83 and 54 yards, while senior Jalen Russell added a 61-yard score, and Tyler DelVecchio rushed for a 40-yard touchdown.

Because of the big plays, South Plainfield dominated, despite never running a single play from scrimmage inside the red zone; the closest they got was the South River 37 yard line, but it didn’t matter.

The Tigers also had a defensive touchdown, a 35-yard scoop and score by senior defensive end Gregorio Zambrana on a bad handoff by South River in their own end.

After coming out of the half down 21-0, then falling behind 28-0 on Zambrana’s score, South River senior quarterback Ryan Kurtz briefly brought the Rams alive. He threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to senior Jeffrey Ferriera (they botched the extra point), then after the Tigers scored again to make it 35-6, he threw a 13-yard pass to senior Marcus Granadiero to set up a two-yard TD run by De’Andre Morris, who ran in a two-point conversion to make it 35-14 with 1:32 to play in the third.

But then it started to rain, grounding the Rams’ air game, and that would be the final score.

Click below for postgame reaction:

South Plainfield sophomore RB Patrick Smith:

South Plainfield head coach Bill Hamilton:

South Plainfield alum Hamilton entering Year One as head coach of his alma mater

Bill Hamilton has coached at South Plainfield in the past, both serving as an assistant under Phlip McGuane, and as an assistant wrestling coach.

He’s also been an assistant other places, most recently Sayreville, helping the Bombers win two championships under Chris Beagan.

Now, he’s off on his own, at the place it all began: South Plainfield, where he was a standout student-athlete in the mid-’80s.

He takes over for Gary Cassio, who left at the end of the 2020 season.

READ MORE: Cassio steps down as head coach of South Plainfield football

The Tigers get the season started early, with a Week Zero game Saturday afternoon at noon on the road against South River at Bill Denny Stadium.

Click below to hear Bill Hamilton discuss his upcoming first season as South Plainfield football coach with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko: