By Warren Rapplyea
Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s football team bounced back from its one-point loss to Middletown High School South with a sold 27-0 victory over Matawan Regional High School Oct. 7.
The Bulldogs (3-1) used a dominating ground game to pile up yardage and keep the clock running. Matt Vecchiarelli led the way with 110 yards on 26 carries. When the Bulldogs had to throw, quarterback Jack Volker got the job done. Volker completed seven of 10 passes for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns — both of which were caught by tight end Colin Pavluck.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs got on the board thanks to a 31-yard field goal by Thomas Chapin. Halfway through the quarter, Volker hooked up with Pavluck for a 43-yard touchdown pass.
That would have been more than enough scoring on a night Rumson-Fair Haven’s defense dominated to post its third shutout this fall. Matawan could only muster two first downs — one of which came as a result of a roughing the kicker call — and the Bulldogs also intercepted two passes.
“We never let their offense get untracked,” Rumson coach Jerry Schulte said. “Our defense works very hard to prepare for each opponent. It shows on the field. We have a veteran group, and they take pride in what they do.”
The Bulldogs upped the lead in the third quarter, as Alex Maljan scored on a 15-yard run. Volker found Pavluck with a 10-yard scoring pass in the final quarter, and Chapin closed out the scoring with a 32-yard field goal.
Rumson-Fair Haven is back in action Oct. 14 when it hosts undefeated St. John Vianney High School. The Lancers (5-0) are coming off a solid 35-7 win at Holmdel High School Oct. 7.
RED BANK CATHOLIC
At Wall High School Oct. 7, Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School appeared on its way to victory, as it took a 21-7 lead into the break. The Crimson Knights battled their way back and ended up scoring the game-winning touchdown with just 42 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
RBC opened the scoring on Zach Bair’s 2-yard run. After Wall tied things up later in the opening quarter, the Caseys scored twice in the second session. Nick Brusca scored on a 16-yard keeper, and Jaden Key tossed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lombana.
The second half, however, was a different story. The Wall defense stiffened and the young Caseys were unable to move the ball with any consistency, as the home team chipped away at the lead. Wall cut it to 21-14 at the end of three. A 65-yard halfback option play tied things up midway through the fourth quarter.
After Wall forced an RBC punt, the Crimson Knights took possession on the Caseys’ 42-yard line with 3:30 remaining. Sean Larkin scored the winning touchdown and, after RBC got the ball back, made an interception to seal the win.
“Wall is a good football team; we had them reeling and we let them off the hook,” RBC coach Frank Edgerly said. “Our issues were largely self-imposed. You can’t win many games when you make unforced mistakes. We have to be able to put a game like that away.”
RBC is playing without quarterbacks Steve Lubischer and Tom Lang. Both players are out indefinitely. The loss dropped RBC to 3-2. The Caseys look for their fourth win Oct. 14 at Long Branch High School (1-3). The Green Wave lost, 35-7, to powerful Middletown South (5-0) in its last game.
“Our circumstances are what they are,” Edgerly said. “I don’t consider us a young team anymore. After four preseason games and five regular-season games, they know what to expect. One thing I want to be mindful of is over-reaction. No matter how big you win or how you lose, you can’t over-react. We did a lot of good things against Wall. Now we have to move on and get ready for Long Branch. They’re another good team with a good tradition.”
Shore Regional High School (3-2) came out on the short end of a 42-7 score against rejuvenated and undefeated Mater Dei Prep. Lukas Jackey scored the lone touchdown for the Blue Devils on a 12-yard run.
Shore Regional’s next game is a Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC)-Shore Conference crossover matchup at winless Middlesex High School (0-5) Oct. 15.
Ocean Township High School (2-3) returns from a week off to visit Manasquan High School (3-1) Oct. 15. The Spartans bested Matawan, 27-0, Sept. 30.
RED BANK REGIONAL
Red Bank Regional High School (1-3) will travel to Monmouth Regional High School (2-4) Oct. 15. Red Bank Regional last played Sept. 23 in a 37-0 loss to St. John Vianney.