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Woodbridge looking for more points on gridiron

By Jeff Appelblatt

Time and time again, Kevin Coleman has reiterated the need for his football team at Woodbridge High School to score.

Last year, the Barrons scored more than 26 points per game, en route to six victories. The year before, Woodbridge averaged 24 points and won seven games. This year’s team put up fewer than 11 points per outing over the first four games. Whereas last year’s club failed to reach 20 points just once, this year’s squad hasn’t hit the mark yet.

“We’re struggling on offense,” Coleman said after Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen closed out September with a 28-6 thumping of the Barrons. “We’re moving the ball pretty well, but we’ve got to score. We’ve got to capitalize when we get into the red zone.”

First-year quarterback Donovan Tabon got Woodbridge on the scoreboard early against the Falcons when he connected on a 16-yard pass to Messiah Daniels. But that moment aside, St. Joe’s silenced the Barrons, including when it intercepted a pass to the end zone to end the first half.

Woodbridge’s coach refused to put much blame on Tabon, though.

“We have a young quarterback,” Coleman said about the sophomore. “He’s working along.”

Instead, the coach puts much of the blame on himself and his fellow coaches.

“The coaches need to have the right plays called,” Coleman said. “We have to get [the athletes] in the spaces they should be in.”

He knows he can’t blame the defense. The lack of scoring has put a ton of pressure on Woodbridge’s defense. And other than the 28 points given up to St. Joe’s, teams haven’t been able to do much scoring against the Barrons. Colonia High School scored 14 in the opener, Manasquan High School scored seven in game two and South Plainfield High School scored 15 points in the third game of the season.

“The defense has been good,” Coleman said, quickly jumping back to the need for his team to score. “We can’t put up six points and expect a win.”

Woodbridge scored only six points against Manasquan and lost, 7-6. Woodbridge scored only six against St. Joe’s and lost, 28-6.

“It’s frustrating,” Woodbridge’s coach said. “Losing three straight is rough.”

However, Coleman is sure that Woodbridge could get back in the win column if the team finds its offense. He hopes he and the rest of the coaching staff can get the team on track before its next game at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 on the field of local rival John F. Kennedy Memorial High School.

“Hopefully, we could get the offense going this week,” the coach said.

And if the Barrons can make scoring more common through the rest of the season, Coleman is optimistic with what could happen.

“Then we could be in good shape,” the coach said. “It’s not good enough to just move the ball in high school football. We need to get into the red zone and capitalize.

“Then we’ll be OK.”

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