SPANISH LAKE — Adam Dupont had water bottle duty Saturday.
A sophomore running back for the Lindbergh football team, Dupont and his classmates are assigned to clean up the sideline, collect the miscellaneous gear and carry it off the field after every game.
“Sophomores have to do all the jobs,” Dupont said with a smile.
Even the ones that carry the load all afternoon.
Dupont rushed for 113 yards and scored two touchdowns as Lindbergh rolled to a 41-8 win over Hazelwood East at Gorzynski Field on the campus of Hazelwood East High.
Lindbergh (2-1) wasted no time burying Hazelwood East (1-2) under an avalanche of points. Senior corner back Chaz Kachadorian intercepted East sophomore quarterback Octavion Henderson and returned it 38 yards for the first score of the game just more than a minute after the opening kickoff.
Kachadorian sized up the pass, snagged it out of the air and rolled the other way for the pick-6.
“Once I saw the receiver break his rout, I knew I was going to jump that ball,” Kachadorian said. “It's a good way to set the tone. Got the team on their feet, I'm happy about it.”
Two plays into Hazelwood East's ensuing drive, the Spartans fumbled. The Flyers scooped up the loose ball and after being hit with a penalty on the return, set up at East's 18. The Spartans defense didn't break and forced a fourth-and-goal at the 1. But Lindbergh senior quarterback Logan Marchand ducked behind his big offensive line and plunged in for the short touchdown. Lindbergh led 14-0 with 7 minutes and 55 seconds to play in the first quarter and never looked back.
Marchand scored a pair of 1-yard touchdowns. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 106 yards. Machand's favorite target was junior running back Logan Kopp, who caught four passes for 106 yards, 56 of which came on a third-quarter touchdown bomb.
“We've been working all week,” Kachadorian said. “The coaches did a great job of setting us up with the game plan. We just did our jobs individually and it just happened.”
It doesn't happen without execution and Dupont said his offensive line was sensational, but so were the rest of his teammates. The Flyers wanted to attack the middle of East's defense and then see where they could find space on the the outside. When he broke into the second level of the defense, Dupont said he often had blockers and green space in front of him.
“Every time I ran to the inside I would bounce it outside and there would be blockers out there for me, and I was free to go,” Dupont said. “They blocked awesome. I think on those touchdowns I wasn't even touched. It was great.”
Lindbergh's defense made life miserable for East much of the afternoon. The Flyers held Hazelwood East to 18 yard rushing. Henderson completed 14 of 22 passes for 111 yards and was picked off twice. He had a third interception nullified by a Lindbergh penalty. Henderson found senior receiver Jai-Lan Cunningham six times for 47 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Dupont, who also came up with an interception at defensive back, said it was a good showing by the Flyers defense that ran into run-heavy offenses at Mehlville and Fox the first two weeks of the season. East likes to sling the ball from the spread formation and it didn't bother Lindbergh a bit.
“Our coaches did a great job preparing us for a spread we haven't gone against,” Dupont said.
East opened the season with a 38-0 win over University City and followed with a 33-24 loss to Lafayette last week. East coach Lorenzo Brinkley said the Spartans are in the midst of a youth movement and there are going to be peaks and valleys.
“We're a young team. I hate to put that out there as if that's an excuse,” Brinkley said. “We're a young team suffering from young mistakes.”
In his second season at East, Brinkley and his staff are confronting the challenges that have affected many programs in the area as numbers have dipped. He said the player pool expanded significantly on the first day of school. The lack of offseason experience and in-game experience is a significant hurdle the Spartans will have to overcome this season but one Brinkley is confident will get figured out.
“We lost a lot of quality seniors last year. And now there are players that haven't had game experience and it's time to step it up. It's time to have a sense of urgency,” Brinkley said. “That's the beauty of coaching. Find the fun in that, try to figure out the puzzle and keep on pushing.”