RBC-RFH Showdown Friday Night

October 18, 2018
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Rumson-Fair Haven running back Alex Maldjian had three more TD runs against Lakewood last Saturday to give him 17 total for the season. Photo by Patrick Olivero

By Rich Chrampanis |

It’s the game everyone wants to see. When Red Bank Catholic made an emphatic statement in Week 0 with a 41-14 win at Saint John Vianney, Rumson-Fair Haven followed suit one week later when they scored 43 points in one half against the Lancers on the way to a 43-6 win. From that point on, everyone looked to Oct. 19. The 6-0 Bulldogs host the 6-0 Caseys in a game that features two state-ranked powers (RFH debuted at No. 19 in the latest state poll, RBC is No. 8). Here’s a breakdown of what to look for in this much anticipated showdown.

When RBC Has the Ball

The Caseys have scored 35 or more points in every one of their games. When it comes to the best quarterbacks in New Jersey, there’s a lot of talk about Penn State commit TaQuan Roberson of DePaul Catholic and the big numbers produced by Woodrow Wilson’s Nick Kargman. Steve Lubischer needs to be in the middle of that conversation as the Garden State’s best signal caller. It will be fascinating to see if RFH’s defense can slow down this juggernaut. Henry Sullivan, Keegan Woods and Christian Lanzalotto are the linchpins of the RFH defense and will need to keep Lubischer in check. That’s a tall task. What makes RBC so dangerous is that they do not need to lean on one player. Billy Guidetti can crank out 100 yards on the ground and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see tight end Kevin Bauman get targeted a whole bunch. Factor in MJ Wright and Jaden Key and you have a long list of potential players who can make a huge impact.

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When RFH Has the Ball

Alex Maldjian has been a scoring machine: 16 TDs on the ground, 17 total for the season. The Rumson-Fair Haven offensive line will ultimately dictate the success of the Bulldogs offense and if they can put points on the board. This unit has quietly dominated every opponent in its path. RBC has a lot of unsung heroes on its defensive unit. Players like John Columbia and Steve Cmielewski are just two players who deliver on a consistent basis.

Special Teams

Rumson-Fair Haven has a knack for getting to the punter and turning the tide with blocked punts. The Bulldogs did it last week against Lakewood that resulted in a Ryan Dupree touchdown. RBC has great return potential. Sean Rossback nearly returned one to the house against Long Branch. Ryan O’Hara is an underrated kicker and punter for the Caseys who has the foot to make a difference in the game.

 

A History Lesson

RBC and RFH was a Thanksgiving tradition from 1957 to 2012 before Rumson elected to end the series. The game was played every year with the exception of 1989 when a Thanksgiving snowstorm postponed the annual matchup until two days later. Current Caseys head coach Frank Edgerly was supposed to play his final high school football game that day, but RFH cited poor field conditions and the game was ultimately being canceled. Fast forward to today and Ryan Edgerly, Anthony Borriello and Jack Zenkert will be on the field as sons of players who were on that 1989 team.

One thing’s for sure, the 2018 renewal of RBC and RFH will undoubtedly be played and it would be wise to get to The Two River Times Field at Borden Stadium early as a capacity crowd will watch two great programs square off for Shore Conference supremacy.

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This article was first published in the Oct. 18-24, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.

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