WALL TOWNSHIP — Red Bank Catholic junior quarterback Eddie Hahn made so many unbelievable plays on Friday that even his teammates wanted to stand back and marvel at them.

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“Eddie is a great athlete, and it’s a rare opportunity to find a player like him,” said senior running back Mike Cordova. “It’s just fun to watch him.”

There was plenty to see Hahn do during the No. 1 Caseys’ 55-6 wipeout of host Wall in a Class B North game to open the season. In his first game as RBC’s full-time starting quarterback, Hahn accounted for 170 total yards and five touchdowns to officially signal his arrival as one of the Shore’s best dual-threat quarterbacks. He ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns on just three carries, and threw for 61 yards and a pair of touchdowns - all in the first half - as the Caseys won their 34th straight game versus Shore Conference opponents.

“I expected to have a good performance, but I didn’t expect it to go this well,” Hahn said.

“Coach Ahearn and coach Portela last year kind of eased me into the role of playing quarterback and safety,” Hahn added. “Tonight just went very well. The offensive line played well, the running backs played well and the receivers made plays, too.”

“He’s someone (teams) have to account for that they haven’t had to before when they’ve played Red Bank Catholic,” said head coach Jim Portela.

Cordova added 92 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and senior running back Tommy Spernal rushed for 80 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries as part of a 297-yard team effort. Senior wide receiver Trevor Cowley hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass from Hahn in the first quarter and senior wide out Nick Lubischer caught a 10-yard scoring pass in the second quarter.

The Caseys’ (1-0, 1-0) defense limited the Crimson Knights (0-1, 0-1) to 102 total yards and five first downs while also coming up with four takeaways.

“We wanted to make sure we played hard and were physical, and I think we got those two things,” Portela said. “We wanted to make sure we came out and set a tone and a tempo for the rest of the season that we’re always going to play hard and physical. That’s our calling card, and we want it to stay that way.”

Wall’s only points came from a one-yard touchdown run by senior Steven Poss, who set up the drive with a 33-yard kick return.

The Caseys were the overwhelming favorite coming in, and it didn’t take long for that to prove factual. The Crimson Knights, though, didn’t make it any easier on themselves by losing three fumbles, including the opening play of the game when a bad snap was recovered by RBC senior linebacker Nick LaGrippo at the Wall 20-yard line. Two consecutive false starts pushed the Caseys back to the 28-yard line, but on third-and-13, Hahn kept and ran up the middle before making a defender miss and cutting outside to the left corner of the end zone to put the Caseys up 6-0. The extra point was no good wide.

Good kick coverage that pinned Wall at its own 17 and a three-and-out defensive series helped RBC start its next drive at the Crimson Knights’ 35-yard line. This time on third-and-5, Hahn faked a handoff to Spernal and kept it himself again, going up the middle for a 30-yard score. Senior Vince Gallo knocked through the extra point to make it 13-0.

The same formula gave the Caseys the ball at the Wall 37 to start their third drive. Hahn took to the air, and this time it only took him one play to find the end zone. His 37-yard pass was contested, but gathered in Cowley to put RBC up 20-0 with three touchdowns in 4:32.

Hahn’s best play was yet to come, but Wall showed some fight thanks to a good return by Poss on the ensuing kickoff, which he returned 33 yards to the 46-yard line. On the first play of the drive, junior quarterback Matt Cluley connected with junior wide receiver Bobby Fletcher on a 37-yard pass down to the Caseys’ 17-yard line. Wall then converted a 4th-and-6 from the RBC 13 when Cluley found tight end Cole Cadigan for 10 yards. That set up Poss churning in from the one on second-and-goal. The kick was blocked, but Wall was on the board at 20-6.

Any momentum Wall had hoped to seize, however, was gone in a flash.

Four plays later on the first play of the second quarter, Hahn scored on an incredible 55-yard touchdown run to put the Caseys up 27-6. He took the snap out of the shotgun on second-and-2 and rolled to his right, where he was immediately met by blitzing linebacker Chad McClelland. Hahn stutter-stepped and spun in the opposite direction, reversing field and picking up a key block from Spernal downfield while outrunning the entire Crimson Knights’ defense to the end zone.

“When I saw him come across the line I was just thinking I have to get away from him, but I honestly didn’t think I was going to with how hard he was blitzing,” Hahn said. "But somehow, some way I got away from him. I saw Tommy Spernal one-on-one with the corner and tried to get outside of him. Once I got outside I knew I could score.”

“I wish I could tell you everything he did was by design, but he did certainly ad lib some things,” Portela said. “It’s a great luxury to have. He makes everyone around him better.”

The Caseys went ahead 34-6 when Cordova capped a short five-play, 30-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run with 7:11 left in the first half.

Junior Dan Lukawski recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to give the Caseys back the ball, starting at Wall’s 25. After Spernal converted a third down with a 10-yard run, Hahn hit Lubischer in the right flat and the receiver stretched inside the pylon to give Red Bank Catholic a 41-6 lead.

Another special teams turnover by Wall would lead to the Caseys’ seventh touchdown. A muffed punt was recovered by Lubischer at the Crimson Knights’ 25-yard line, setting up Spernal’s seven-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds left in the half.

The Caseys pulled Hahn at the half and played about half their starters for half of the third quarter. Cordova added a rushing touchdown on the first drive of the second half to end the scoring.

With the Caseys’ strength along the offensive line and two running backs who should be highly productive, Hahn’s dual-threat element at quarterback could be what takes Red Bank Catholic to the next level. It was only two quarters of action, but Hahn showed how his skills make the dominant Caseys even more dangerous.

“Tonight was Eddie’s night, and down the road you’re going to see it be Mike Cordova’s or Tommy Spernal’s or Trevor Cowley’s on the receiving end,'' Portela said. "We have a lot of weapons and a lot of ways to attack a defense.”



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Pregame & 1st Quarter


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4th Quarter & Postgame