2021 NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 3 Championship Preview: Rumson-Fair Haven vs. Woodrow Wilson
CENTRAL JERSEY GROUP 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
WHO: 2-Woodrow Wilson (7-2) at 1-Rumson-Fair Haven (9-1)
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Borden Stadium - 74 Ridge Road, Rumson, NJ 07760
RUMSON'S ROAD TO THE FINAL: Defeated Oakcrest, 37-0, in the quarterfinals; defeated Burlington Township, 34-0, in the semifinals.
WOODROW WILSON'S ROAD TO THE FINAL: Defeated Triton, 52-0, in the quarterfinals; defeated Manasquan, 34-7, in the semifinals.
RUMSON'S BEST WINS: 35-0 over Wall; 14-0 over Donovan Catholic; 37-7 over South Jersey Group 5 finalist Toms River North; 21-6 over Colts Neck; 12-7 over North 2, Group 4 finalist Middletown South; 43-6 over Long Branch.
WOODROW WILSON'S BEST WINS: 44-21 over Central Jersey Group 2 finalist Haddonfield; 28-12 over Holy Spirit; 52-0 over Triton; 34-7 over Manasquan.
PLAYOFF HISTORY: Rumson has won six sectional titles over the last eight seasons that included playoffs and is making its eighth straight appearance in a sectional championship game. Rumson is 28-13 overall in 19 playoff appearances since 2014 and has put together multiple legendary defensive performances in the state playoffs. They defeated Woodrow Wilson in the Central/South bowl game in 2018. They have been one of the most consistent programs in the entire state over the past 10 years...Woodrow Wilson has won three sectional titles all-time, including two straight South Jersey Group 3 titles. They defeated Wall, 12-7, in the 2019 bowl game the year after falling to Rumson in a Group 3 bowl game. This will be the Tigers' 10th appearance in a sectional final. They have a 16-17 record across 20 playoff berths.
RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN STAT LEADERS
-Geoff Schroeder, Sr., RB: 164 carries for 1,076 yards and 14 TDs
-Colin Kennedy, Sr., QB: 807 yards passing, 10 TDS, 1 INT; 437 yards rushing, 10 TDs.
-John Lista, Sr., LB: 116 tackles, 8 sacks, 11 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
-Ryan McKay, Sr., LB: 108 tackles, TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR
-Aiden Moriarty, Sr., DE: 93 tackles, 8 sacks, 9 TFL, 2 FF
-Julien Devlin, Jr., DL: 34 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 FR
-Beau Kemler, Jr., DB: 48 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 FR, 1 FF
-Brian Doherty, Sr., DB: 44 tackles, 3 INTs
-Alex Cady, Jr., DB: 58 tackles, 1 NT, 1 FF
-Ryan Kalman, Jr., DB: 47 tackles, 2 INTs, 3 FR
-Aidan Casuccio, Sr., TE: 15 rec. for 188 yards and 4 TDS
-Scott Venancio, Jr., WR: 8 rec. for 181 yards and 3 TDs
-Nick Rigby, So., WR: 14 rec. for 174 yards and 1 TD
-Justin Worobel, Sr., K: 29-for-32 on XPs; 4-for-5 on FGs with a long of 34 yards
WOODROW WILSON STAT LEADERS
-Devin Kargman, Sr., QB: 2,284 yards passing, 20 TDs, 3 INTs
-Naz'sir Oglesby, Sr., RB: 162 carries for 1,210 yards and 13 TDs; 27 rec. for 413 yards and 4 TDs
-Michael Estremera, Sr., WR/DB: 54 rec. for 772 yards and 8 TDs; 5 INTs, 22 tackles on defense.
-Judah Anthony, Sr., WR: 32 rec. for 430 yards and 2 TDs
-Amari Clark, Sr., WR: 18 rec. for 364 yards and 6 TDs
-Damir McCrary, Sr., LB: 95 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 1 FF
-Shelton Neal, Sr., LB: 25 tackles, 7 sacks
-Zyeer Blount, Sr., LB: 57 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF
-Shamier Boyd, Jr., DL: 5 sacks
-Adam Shakir, Sr., DL: 5 sacks
-Malique Fisher, Jr., DL: 4.5 sacks
-Fatim Diggs, So., DL: 4 sacks
When the clock strikes 7 p.m. on Friday night at Borden Stadium it will commence a heavyweight showdown between two state powers both trying to claim another NJSIAA sectional championship.
Rumson has won six sectional titles all-time and all have come in the last nine seasons. The Bulldogs will be playing in their eighth straight championship game, which tells you all you need to know about their consistency and pedigree. Wilson has won two straight sectional titles and has to have revenge on its mind stemming from Rumson's win over the Tigers in a 2018 Group 3 bowl game.
The obvious matchup to watch is Woodrow Wilson's high-scoring offense vs. Rumson's fantastic defense. Rumson has allowed just 47 points all season and has posted four shutouts, an impressive total nonetheless but even more eye-opening when you consider the schedule the Bulldogs have played. Nobody should be surprised, however, because this is what Rumson does. RFH has been otherworldly in the playoffs with numbers that are almost unbelievable. In two games, the Bulldogs have allowed zero points, zero first downs, and a total of 25 yards of offense in wins over Oakcrest and Burlington Township. Whoah. Senior linebacker John Lista may very well be the Shore Conference Defensive Player of the Year while seniors Ryan McKay and Aiden Moriarty have also had exceptions seasons.
Rumson will be tested by a Woodrow Wilson offense that has a 2,220-yard passer in senior quarterback Devin Kargman, a running back in Naz'sir Oglesby that has 1,210 rushing yards, 413 receiving yards, and 17 total touchdowns, and a deep group of wide receivers that will challenge Rumson's secondary like no team has the season. Woodrow Wilson overwhelmed Manasquan, 34-7, in the semifinals.
Offensively, Rumson will lean on quarterback Colin Kennedy and running back Geoff Schroeder behind an excellent offensive line. The Bulldogs are the opposite of Wilson's flashy offense but they have had great success just the same. Rumson doesn't use many straight dropbacks in the passing game, which is good considering the Tigers have a whopping 39 sacks in nine games.
Taking on a high-powered offense in the playoffs and shutting it down has helped define Rumson's legacy over the last decade and Friday night's title game presents yet another opportunity. When the two teams played in 2018 Rumson scored a 26-18 win over a Tigers team loaded with Division 1 talent. Woodrow Wilson is a very good and very dangerous team, but betting against Rumson in the playoffs, especially one playing as well as it is at the moment, is not wise.
The pick: Rumson, 21-8
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