Red Bank Runs Past Neptune 28-7 to Improve to 4-0
LITTLE SILVER — There were plenty of potential distractions for Red Bank this week - the extra attention after a win over Ocean in Week Three, the Week Four game being moved up a day to Thursday and a revenge game against Neptune - but the Bucs didn’t let any of that get in their way.
Senior running back Alim Godsey let a 351-yard rushing surge by Red Bank with a game-high 185 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries as the Bucs continued their great start with a 28-7 Shore Conference Class B North victory over Neptune on Thursday evening. Senior quarterback Jack Navitsky added 90 yards rushing and a touchdown and senior wide receiver Sadiq Palmer also ran for a touchdown to help Red Bank improve to 4-0 for the first time in over a decade.
Red Bank’s defense also continued to play at a high level in holding Neptune to a late fourth-quarter touchdown and 185 yard of offense. The Bucs have allowed just 24 points in four games this season.
“We didn’t care about the rain, the field, nothing,” Godsey said. “We just had to come out and play our game.”
“We really wanted this one,” Navitsky said. “Last year being 2-0 and then getting beat by them, it was something we really wanted. We needed this one.”
On a day when Red Bank honored its legendary 1975 state championship team at halftime, the Bucs played like a team eager to return the program to glory. In 2003 the Bucs went 10-2 and reached a sectional championship game. Since then they haven’t had a winning season. Thursday’s win put them one step closer to returning to the postseason.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity we’re having right now, and it’s been growing, it’s not something that has come out of nowhere,” said Red Bank head coach Nick Giglio, who is now in his seventh season. “There are kids that are now seniors that started as sophomores, and it started even before that. I think we’ve taken the proper steps to get here. We’re not where we want to be but we’re moving forward.”
Neptune entered with an 0-3 record, but with those losses coming against Ocean, No. 1 Middletown South and No. 2 Red Bank Catholic, the Scarlet Fliers were far from a pushover. Red Bank did itself a favor jumping on them early for a 7-0 lead. Godsey capped a 7-play, 69-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run with 3:05 left int he first quarter. A 19-yard run by junior Tyrese Morris moved the ball across midfield and to the Neptune 29, and a 13-yard completion from Navitsky to Palmer on third-and-11 set up Godsey’s touchdown run.
A fumble off a botched snap by Neptune was recovered by senior defensive end Sean Naiman at the Scarlet Fliers’ 46-yard line, setting up Red Bank’s second touchdown. Navitsky scrambled for a first down on third-and-9 from the 33, and ran for a 15 yards on second-and-15 to move the ball inside the Neptune 20. On third-and-12 Godsey broke free up the middle for a 15-yard touchdown that put Red Bank up 14-0 with 8:27 left in the first half.
“Alim is a tremendous competitor out there,” Giglio said. “The offensive line did a tremendous job and at the same time he was a very smart runner. He read his line and took off. Last year he came out like a house on fire and fizzled out, and he knows that. He’s working harder and in this four-game stretch he’s showed that.”
The Bucs pushed their lead to 21-0 late in the third quarter with a mammoth 12-play, 71-yard drive that chewed 7:20 off the clock. Eleven of the 12 plays were running plays, and Godsey carried nine times for 62 yards on the drive and Palmer finished it off with a 3-yard touchdown run. Senior Jack O’Connor kicked the extra point for a 21-0 lead with 2:41 left in the third quarter.
Neptune found some life in the fourth quarter starting with a defensive stand deep in its own territory. A 53-yard run by Godsey moved the ball from Red Bank’s 32-yard line to the Neptune 15, but the Scarlet Fliers then stopped the Bucs on fourth straight plays, getting a tackle for a 3-yard loss by senior linebacker Banir Worthy on fourth-and-1. Down by 21, Neptune took to the air with sophomore quarterback Chase Fairbanks, who led the Fliers on a 7-play, 91-yard scoring drive for their first points in nearly three games.
Fairbanks got Neptune out from inside its own 10-yard line with a 29-yard pass to Kahmar Rice. Three play later on fourth-and-3 he moved the chains with a 15-yard completion. On the next play he connected with senior Elijah Smith for a 41-yard touchdown, and Smith kicked the extra point to make it 21-7.
Red Bank answered immediately, however, to put the game away. An onside kick attempt by Neptune was recovered by Red Bank just shy of midfield, and the Bucs needed just three plays to get into the end zone. Navitsky ran for 16 yards on first down to move the ball to the Neptune 36, Godsey moved the ball to the 33 with a short run and Navitsky zig-zagged his way to a touchdown on a 33-yard run, putting Red Bank up 28-7 with 4:51 left.
After narrowly missing out on the playoffs last season and finishing 5-5, Red Bank entered this season with plans on finishing what they started. Through four games the Bucs are right on track.
“We are really hungry this year,” said junior linebacker Chris Outterbridge. “Last year we wanted it, but not bad enough. We’re stepping up to every challenge put in front of us.”