Red Bank Catholic # 9 wins savage defensive duel with # 5 Rumson-Fair Haven
As former Rumson resident Bruce Springsteen wrote, “There is magic in the night”.
On a beautiful evening in mid-October, there was magic, an atmosphere like the Shore hadn’t seen at a high school football game in at least two years, and non-stop, fierce, bruising, give me three shots of Tylenol, No 9 Red Bank Catholic reminded the Shore Conference that a small defense is also being played at its end of Ridge Road.
An estimated 2,500 crowd came, saw and watched Red Bank Catholic conquer Rumson-Fair Haven, 21-14, in a game that lived up to and exceeded its accumulation at Borden Stadium in Rumson on Friday night.
“It was the kind of game where everyone emptied the tank in all its facets,” said Catholic Red Bank head coach Mike Lange.
“I don’t think any of the kids on either team will get any sleep tonight,” added Rumson-Fair Have head coach Jerry Schulte.
Red Bank Catholic (7-0), who will move up to the Shore Conference’s No.1 ranking next week, survived two fumbles in the fourth quarter and held off their rival with an even better defense than Rumson’s, than many. thought they were the best of the Shore Conference.
“All we have been hearing all week is that they (Rumson-Fair Haven) set the gold standard in defense,” said Alex Bauman of Red Bank Catholic, who was forced to leave the edge and in pursuit all night. “People seem to have forgotten that RBC is also playing defense. We have come to prove it.
“The last time I looked we are pretty physical and also play great defense,” said Lange. “We’ve been hitting our kids with that all week.”
The Red Bank Catholic defense forced seven punts. In the 7:51 final, the RBC defense got three and-outs on back-to-back possessions after their offense returned the ball on fumbles. In Rumson-Fair Haven’s last two possessions, RBC recorded two sacks and limited RFH to minus 16 yards.
“We had our chances,” Schulte said. “They are good, what can I say? We were just inconsistent on both sides of the ball. We are doing something good and it feels like it was the first day of training.
And the massive crowd, three and four deep around the stadium fence in places, screamed relentlessly.
“It was great,” said Sabino Portella of Red Bank Catholic, who scored two touchdowns including the game winner with 51 seconds left in the third quarter. “We didn’t hear anything. We had to use hand signals.
“When we stepped onto the pitch I took a deep breath and assimilated everything,” Bauman said.
RBC’s defense was bolstered by the return of Torin Harmon to inside linebacker. His comeback put a hard-hitting Rahjan Cooper over the edge. RBC played with eight players in the box for most of the second half, just one hit above, looking to stop a much-vaunted running game from Rumson. The tactic worked, Rumson had just 29 rushing yards in the second half. At the same time, RBC challenged Rumson to beat him with the pass – and he almost did.
When Portella, who finished with 25 carries for 144 yards, scored from two yards, topping a 10-play, 73-yard drive, Red Bank Catholic opened a 21-7 lead with less than a minute left in the third. quarter.
Forced out of the run, Rumson’s quarterback Colin Kennedy completed three well-thrown passes during an 83-yard drive in five games. First, he threw a field pitch at Scott Venancio, who got behind the RBC defense on a post pattern, on the silver for 44 yards. Then he hit Aiden Casuccio for 20 more at RBC 20. Then, after a one yard gain on a running game, Kennedy showed a remarkable touch when he made a 19 yard killer pass. to Casuccio, who managed the catch between two RBC defenders.
From that point on, however, RBC played a defensive role.
After RFH recovered the first fumble, the RBC defense pushed Rumson back from RBC 49 to Rumson 44 and forced a punt with 5:40 left. After RFH recovered the second fumble, the RBC defense pushed Rumson back from his 45 to his own 30 where he kicked again with 3:05 to go.
“Honestly, we just played on basic defense,” said Portella. “We just felt like we had something to prove.”
In the first half, the beefy RBC forward – Liam Kehoe, Lorenzo Portella, Ashton Mejias, Vince Carpenter and Michael Coneely – made huge holes in Rumson’s vaunted defense.
Portella notched Rumson for 112 yards in the first half on 15 carries. He topped a 17-game, 75-yard marathon with a 1-yard run.
The march was extended by an expensive RFH penalty. The offside call gave RBC a first down on a fourth and four. Another big play on record was a 16-yard pass through mid-QB Alex Brown to Bauman, who struggled the ball away from a Rumson linebacker for a first down at RFH Seven. The journey took over eight minutes.
RBC went 14-0 when Brown threw a pass into the flat to Cooper who then made his way into TD’s end zone with 2:48 left in the second quarter.
Rumson-Fair Haven responded by assembling his first successful workout of the first half. The Bulldogs have 62 yards in 11 plays. Kennedy finished training when he dropped the ball, picked it up and ran to the corner for a one-yard score. Rumson came in late at halftime, 14-7.
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