The final summer weekend was another good one and I even got to spend a few hours on the beach Saturday which was an unexpected bonus.

An empty beach in Seaside Park (Jane Williams)

Wednesday marks the official arrival of fall (or autumn if you prefer) and Halloween decorations clearly tell you that we are changing seasons. My wife is telling me I have to put my summer clothes away but I just can’t bring myself to replacing my summer pastel colors with the more seasonal rust, brown, green and burgundy. I have to find some middle ground because I just don’t like dark colors usually associated with fall and winter.

Back to the weekend which of course for me always means football. Friday night I not only witnessed but broadcast one of the best individual performances I’ve seen in my long career as Brick Memorial senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for a school-record 320 yards and 4 touchdowns in a shocking rout of Toms River North.

No surprise in that Santiago is one of the nominees for this week’s Shore Sports Network Player of the Week with voting to go through tomorrow on our website. Others up for weekly honors include Mike Bickford of Central, Toms River South’s Dashaun Alexander and Noah Husak of Point Boro.

I am not (like many seemed to suggest) going to bang my chest over Penn State’s rout of Rutgers Saturday night because I don’t like to kick someone when they’re down and our state university’s football program clearly is. I do want to say from all accounts Penn State fans were hospitable to the few thousand red-clad Scarlet Knight followers who made their way to Happy Valley and most of the ribbing was good natured, a far cry from when the team’s played last year in New Jersey.

Kevin Williams with Toms River North Sportsmanship Award recipient Chris Gulla in 2013. (Townsquare Media NJ)

What I was also happy about was the outstanding punting performance turned in by Chris Gulla, a redshirt sophomore who played at Toms River North. Gulla was presented the game ball by Coach James Franklin as he pinned Rutgers deep into their own territory for much of the night. A Dean’s List scholar with a 3.8GPA, Gulla lost his starting job last season but performed admirably as the holder for field goals and extra points and only found out he would be the punter on Friday.

He is one of five Shore Conference players who saw the field against Rutgers with the others being junior Garrett Sickels (Red Bank), sophomores Mike Gesicki (Southern) and Saeed Blacknail (Manalapan) and freshman Manny Bowen (Barnegat).

If the saying misery loves company is really true than Giants and Eagles fans certainly understand how the other feels this morning.