South Jersey Football: Ocean City Stays Unbeaten With Impressive Win Over Absegami
OCEAN CITY — If you spent a few extra minutes strolling the boardwalk before host Ocean City took on Absegami on Friday night in a West Jersey Football League Independence Division match-up and showed up late to Carey Stadium, you missed all the fireworks.
The undefeated Red Raiders kept their record spotless in eye-popping fashion, racing out to a 30-0 lead just 13 minutes into the game and cruising to a 44-6 victory over the Braves. Ocean City scored on its first three possessions and added a safety for good measure, as the outcome was not in doubt before the pizza at the snack stand cooled off.
“We stepped right on the gas and put them down early. We have a bunch of dudes who can play football. We’re a family. That’s four weeks straight we’ve come out in the first quarter and played some ball, run around and hit people, score touchdowns — that’s what we do here,” said senior two-way lineman and captain Chris Armstrong. “This is the first time since 1989 that we’ve started out 4-0. It’s awesome. We have a bunch of dudes who can play, we’re a family and we stick together through adversity.”
“Our mindset was we were just going to come out and play our game, get in the end zone as fast as possible, score, and put them down in the first quarter,” added junior quarterback Joe Repetti.
Repetti was hot from the start as he threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jake Schneider in the first half, and senior running back Issac Wilson added a pair of rushing touchdowns to stake the Red Raiders to a big early lead. After forcing Absegami (0-3, 0-2) to punt on its first possession, the Red Raiders (4-0, 3-0) got to work quickly as Repetti hooked up with Brian Beckmann for a big gain before finding Schneider for a touchdown. Sophomore Brendan McGonigle, who was perfect on the night on PATs, added the point after to make it 7-0 less than four minutes into the game. After another 3-and-out from the Braves, Ocean City set up shop at the Absegami 36-yard line and a few plays later Wilson scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns. After a safety on a high snap by Absegami on the Braves’ next possession, the Red Raiders scored again as Repetti hooked up with Schneider on another touchdown pass as the lead swelled to 23-0 with 31 seconds left in the first quarter.
A Beckmann interception helped set up Wilson’s second touchdown of the night, and a little more than a minute into the second quarter Ocean City had a 30-0 lead.
“There were no problems with anything, when I dropped back my first read was open every time. I just had to get rid of the ball and let (my receivers) get the yards,” said Repetti, who added a 30-yard touchdown pass to Brad Jamison in the second quarter to make it 37-0. “And the offensive line opened up some big holes for Wilson, and he hit them hard. He gets up the field. He’s quick.”
Absegami’s lone touchdown came in the third quarter, as a pass from Ray Weed to Quinn McLaughlin brought the ball to the Ocean City 22-yard line, and a few plays later Weed ran in from 16 yards out to score the first points against the Red Raiders this season. Ocean City had pitched shutouts against Lower Cape May, Egg Harbor Township and Bridgeton prior to facing the Braves, and the defense was swarming again this time.
“We run and tackle, run and tackle, that’s all we do,” Armstrong said. “We go down to St. Augustine (next week) and it’s going to be a battle of the titans. I’m excited.”
The schedule will get decidedly tougher beginning next week with a road game at St. Augustine Prep and the Raiders also have to face Triton on Oct. 18 after a bye week. Right now, 4-0 feels pretty good though.
“I like how we just start fast and keep our foot on the pedal, we don’t let up until the end of the game,” Repetti said. “It’s a little surprising (that we’ve allowed just six points all year), but we know teams are going to score against us, so it has to happen sometime. But our defense is playing really well. Our confidence is high, we just have to keep rolling and keep getting after it.”
What’s next: Ocean City travels to St. Augustine Prep on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. Absegami travels to Hammonton on Oct. 4 at 7 PM.