By Warren Rappleyea
Red Bank Catholic
Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School’s football team slowly piled up points and downed crosstown rival Red Bank Regional High School, 35-0, Oct. 29 at Count Basie Field.
Quarterback Steve Lubischer returned to the Caseys’ lineup in style. The sophomore signal-caller tossed three touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to freshman Kevin Bauman to open the scoring in the first quarter. The Buccaneers hung tough, but RBC got on the board again when Zach Bair returned a punt 55 yards to make it 14-0.
The home team promptly took care of business in the third quarter. After Red Bank Regional kicked off, the Caseys had the ball at their own 38-yard line. On the next play, Lubischer hooked up with wideout Ryan O’Hara for a 62-yard scoring pass.
Red Bank Regional took the ensuing kickoff and made its way deep into RBC territory before losing a fumble. The Caseys cashed in quickly, as Lubischer and Bauman teamed up again, this time for a 70-yard touchdown pass.
Lubischer ended the night five-of-10 passing for 184 yards. Bauman and Jaden Key caught two passes apiece — good for 93 and 87 yards, respectively. Bair led the Caseys’ ground attack with 81 yards on 11 carries.
“This team has persevered,” RBC coach Frank Edgerly said. “We’ve had injuries and a couple of tough losses, but our guys just kept working hard and getting better. They have experienced a lot in a short time, and the win will help us.”
The win improves the Caseys to 5-3. With 111 power points, RBC appears to have nailed down sixth place in the race for the NJSIAA Non-Public, Group III playoffs. The top eight teams qualify. Although not final, it would appear RBC would visit third-place Pope John XXIII Regional High School (4-4) in the first round.
Ocean Township High School improved to 4-4 with an impressive 41-7 victory Oct. 28 over previously undefeated Point Pleasant Borough High School.
The Spartans raced out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. Quarterback Kenny Pickett opened the scoring with a 7-yard run. Doug Rossback also scored in the opening quarter on a 61-yard run. Point Pleasant Borough cut the lead to six in the second quarter, but that would mark the Panthers’ only visit to the end zone.
Pickett took charge in the second half. The senior scored on a 36-yard run and then connected with Joey Aldarelli for 23 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. Late in the game, Pickett found Jasher Pena open for a 60-yard scoring pass.
Overall, Pickett completed seven of 15 passes for 147 yards, and he also ran for 98 yards. The Ocean Township defense limited the Panthers to just 73 yards on the ground and only six first downs.
The Spartans are tied for eighth place with Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (5-2) in the Central Jersey, Group III playoff race. The Bulldogs, however, have a game in hand. The best seven of a team’s first eight games count in the standings.
Ocean has played one of the most unforgiving schedules in the Shore. The Spartans have lost to RBC, Wall High School (6-1), Manasquan High School (6-1) and Middletown High School South (5-2). The Spartans will host Manasquan Nov. 4.
Rumson-Fair Haven is coming off a comfortable 42-0 win at Monmouth Regional High School Oct. 29.
Quarterback Michael O’Connor scored twice on the ground and threw to Ian O’Connor for another touchdown. It was the fourth shutout for the Bulldogs defense this fall. Rumson-Fair Haven has outscored its opponents, 199-49.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to host Carteret High School (5-2) in a Greater Middlesex Conference-Shore Conference crossover game Nov. 4.