RBC-Neptune Thriller Highlights Friday Action

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E-mail: stump@allshoremedia.com

While the featured game of the night between Red Bank Catholic and Neptune in Class B North was ugly and penalty-filled for much of the way, the ending sure delivered.

You can read the game story about the heroics of Jack Tabb and Ryan Spahr and the great play of RBC’s defense by clicking here, and here are some extras from the evening:

—The game was sloppy for both sides, with a combined 21 penalties for 156 yards, and many of them were costly, from the two that cost Neptune some field position near the end when it had to punt to RBC for the final drive, and one that really hurt Neptune before the half. Jaheem Woods hit David Gutzmore on a rollout and it would have been first-and-goal from the 3-yard line, but an illegal shift wiped out a 27-yard gain and the ultimate result was Neptune having to try an unsuccessful Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half.

“In my heart, and I’m sure (Neptune) coach (Don) Sofilkanich will tell you the same thing, I don’t feel like we played our best game,” said RBC coach Jim Portela. “I feel like this was a big match-up in the early season when teams don’t necessarily play their best, but we’ll get better.”

—Junior defensive tackle Joe Coscarelli has became a major force up front for RBC. He was unblockable for most of the game, and any time Woods tried to cut back inside after rolling out, Coscarelli usually punished him.

—Sophomore Josh Klecko is like a clone of Coscarelli in the playmaking department. He plowed into the backfield for multiple hits for a loss as well. It’s not like he hasn’t gotten taught by the best, as his father is former Jets All Pro Joe Klecko and his older brother is former Marlboro/Temple star Dan Klecko, an NFL defensive lineman himself. As the younger Klecko continues to add size, he and Coscarelli will be a major problem for the interior linemen of opponents to deal with. They are already hard to tell apart as Coscarelli wears #74 and Klecko wears #73 and they both are about the same size. They also are both in the backfield a lot.

—RBC’s front seven is as good as anybody’s this side of Middletown South or Lacey. They are very physical but also pretty athletic, as they showed in bottling up one of the fastest teams in the Shore in Neptune.

—Junior tight end/linebacker Doug Whitlock was impressive in returning a fumble for a touchdown on defense, making a 31-yard catch and run in the open field at tight end and making multiple hits for a loss. He is being recruited by Duke, UCLA, and North Carolina, among others, and Portela said that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who was in attendance to watch Tabb and Neptune’s Charles Davis, the latter of whom is already verbally committed to Rutgers, said that he will be keeping an eye on Whitlock as well. No team in the Shore has a better tight end tandem than Tabb and Whitlock, who both look to be Division I recruits when it’s all said and done.

—Schiano made the rounds on Friday, as he also was at Long Branch watching senior quarterback Miles Shuler and junior lineman Ryan Brodie before coming to Neptune. Rutgers is heavily pursuing those two along with Tabb. I was kind of hoping for a trademark helicopter landing at halftime or something for Schiano, but alas, he showed up on foot. His presence was also announced over the loudspeaker, which can never hurt in the exposure department. Schiano was standing in the back of the end zone when Tabb ran in with the game-winning touchdown with 12.3 seconds left.

—Neptune junior quarterback Jaheem Woods has a lot of potential, but just needs more experience and refinement. On broken plays and rollouts, he has the ability to turn a 10-yard loss into a 50-yard gain, but he also needs to learn when to just get rid of the ball or make one cut and run downhill. Still, his ability is tantalizing.

—RBC used tailback Andrew Casten in the Wildcat formation on a few snaps with mixed results, as the Caseys were out of sync and penalized twice at first but then Casten got a long gain out of it in the fourth quarter. He initially was in the running to play quarterback last year as a junior, so he has the ability to throw the ball when they are in that formation even though his strength is obviously running the ball.

—Ryan Spahr showed great calm under pressure on the final drive considering he had only completed one pass all game and threw 11 straight incompletions before he hit Tabb for the game-winner. That is someone you can go to battle with. He seemed like the adrenaline got the best of him as he was throwing rockets at receivers who were 5 yards away, but he has ability and will only get better. If RBC can truly get a passing game that has to be feared, look out, because the Caseys run the ball very well. Spahr also has a mini-Greg McElroy thing going. McElroy is the starting QB at Alabama and has not lost a game he has started since eighth grade. Neither has Spahr, as he has never lost a game at the freshman, JV or varsity level that he has started at quarterback. (He did have two ties).

—Neptune should learn from this and be a better team under Sofilkanich. They saw what a good defense can do against their Wing-T offense and now have to make the necessary adjustments while working on the discipline to avoid those painful penalties.

Finally, some quick hitters from around the Shore:

—Pinelands sr. RB Matt McLain is on an incredible pace, as he now has 662 yards rushing and nine touchdowns in two games after a 337-yard, 5-TD demolition of Central for his second 300-yard game of the season. Whatever the Pinelands single-season rushing record is, it’s about to be obliterated. However, he will face his first serious test in the next game when the Wildcats take on the fierce Lacey defense, which has only allowed seven points in two games and is always tough against the run. If he can have a big game against the Lions, that will really be saying something.

—Barnegat senior QB Nick SanGiacomo is on a tear himself, having thrown 7 TD passes in two games, three of them to junior TE Ryan Morris and four to senior wideout Mike DeTroia. The Bengals have needed that offense, as they pulled out a 35-27 win over an underrated Manchester team that fought until the end and has plenty of playmakers of its own. Coaches from Tulane and Boston College were in the house, according to Barnegat head coach Rob Davis. SanGiacomo is already verbally committed to Tulane, while Boston College was getting a look at DeTroia and Morris. The Eagles already feature freshman tight end Jarrett Darmstatter, Barnegat’s star tight end from last year.

—Looks like Class B Central will come down to Shore vs. Asbury Park after Shore bludgeoned Keyport 40-14. You can read more about that here.

—Huge win for Monmouth, 27-19 over Freehold in B North in the morning. The Falcons have some legit skill players and a solid quarterback in A.J. Visconti, so they look like the sleeper team in the division right now. Their offensive line has also come along quickly, which has made a big difference. Head coach Sal Spampanato called the victory the biggest he’s had in his four-year tenure there. Good for the Falcons for proving people wrong in the early going. Meanwhile, Freehold is searching for answers and its secondary has given up four touchdown passes in two games.

—The Miles Shuler Show rolls on at Long Branch. With Greg Schiano in the house, he ran for two 60-plus-yard TDs and threw a touchdown pass. He has run or passed for all eight of Long Branch’s TDs this year. Next week should be a fun one at home against a ticked-off Neptune team that let one get away on Friday night. Shuler and Charles Davis are also good friends and so are their fathers, so the bragging rights will be endless for the winner.

—Monsignor Donovan and head coach Dan Duddy picked up a 35-16 win over Duddy’s mentor, Warren Wolf, and Lakewood. Duddy played for Wolf at Brick and also coached against him at Central for years, including a sectional final in 1994 that was won by Brick.

—Rumson and Lacey picked up wins in games in which they were favored against St. John Vianney and Brick, respectively. Quietly, Ian Moore has three touchdown catches in two games for RFH. A converted quarterback, Moore has been a great complement to Jack Wise, who also had a TD catch. Wide receivers coach Joe Passo told me in the preseason to watch out for Moore, and he has delivered. As for Lacey, it has now beaten Brick by a combined score of 69-0 in its last two meetings. Brick has also been outscored 72-0 in two games this season.


One Response to “RBC-Neptune Thriller Highlights Friday Action”

  1. Saturday Scoreboard « Says:

    […] « RBC-Neptune Thriller Highlights Friday Action […]

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