Football – Turnovers Spark No. 6 RBC to Win Over No. 2 Rumson
RED BANK - Last season marked the first time in 17 years that Rumson-Fair Haven defeated Red Bank Catholic and even though they were underclassmen in the Caseys program last year, junior Alex Bauman, junior Joe Diorio and sophomore Najih Rahman came back motivated to start another 17-year drought for the rival Bulldogs against their Caseys.
The underclass trio starred on Saturday night at County Basie Stadium, pitching in big plays on both sides of the ball in a 21-14 Red Bank Catholic win over Rumson-Fair Haven - the No. 2 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10.
"This is great," Diorio said. "We have been waiting a long time for this game. We had to right the wrongs."
The No. 6 Caseys were outgained by more than a 2-to-1 ratio by the Bulldogs, who amassed 268 yards to RBC's 130, but RBC capitalized on five Rumson turnovers - including two on low shotgun snaps that the Caseys pounced on.
"It gets you ready," Diorio said of Rumson's problems snapping the ball. "It makes you want to keep coming more and more and getting after them more and more. It turned things around a lot."
Three more turnovers came on interceptions, with Diorio and Rahman accounting for one each. Diorio picked up Rumson senior quarterback Josh Harmon at the Rumson 14 yard-line and took it down to the seven to set up sophomore Robert Stolfa for a seven-year touchdown run on a jet sweep. Stolfa's touchdown tied the game at 7-7 with 3:51 left the first quarter following Mike O'Connor's extra point.
"We played Tampa (Two), I read it and (Harmon) threw it right to me," Diorio said.
Rahman, meanwhile, didn't leave the RBC offense any extra work to do. He plucked a pass by Harmon out of the air with one hand and weaved his way 29 yards to the endzone for a 21-7 Caseys lead with 49 seconds to go in the first half.
Diorio appeared to break the game open just two plays after Rahman's pick-six, jumping in front of another Harmon pass and returning it to the endzone. Not only was the play negated by a RBC penalty, but the Caseys were flagged for both roughing the passer before the interception and a blindside block on the return, which resulted in a 30-yard penalty that moved Rumson to the Caseys 28. With under 30 seconds to go, however, Rumson could not turn the penalty into points and went into the halftime locker room trailing by two touchdowns.
Lenny Loria delivered the third RBC interception on a 4th down play in the third quarter that gave the Caseys the ball back on their own six yard-line.
Bauman's contribution to the win came on both sides of the ball, but especially with three big catches on offense. He pulled in three receptions for 68 yards, with one setting RBC up for its second touchdown and the other two moving the chains on third down.
"With Alex and Naj, we have a good young nucleus," first-year RBC coach Mike Lange said. "You are just seeing the tip of the iceberg with Alex. This is his first full year and he's developing into a great two-way player and a leader on our team. He makes great plays in big spots."
In the second quarter, senior quarterback Anthony Borriello hit Bauman on a quick hitch and Bauman rumbled 29 yards to the Rumson one yard-line. After a false start penalty moved the ball back to the six, Borriello called his own number and plowed through the middle for a go-ahead touchdown with 8:10 remaining in the second quarter.
Despite turning the ball over four times in the first half and on their first possession of the second half, Rumson had a chance to rally thanks to its running game and a stingy defense. RBC could not get its ground game in gear, finishing with 30 yards on 30 carries.
Rumson's biggest play on the ground came on its first play, when senior John Volker broke a 56-yard touchdown run on his first touch of the game for the second straight game. Volker pulled off the same feat on his first carry of last week's 28-0 win over Long Branch - also 56 yards.
"You never want to give up a 60-yard touchdown to start the game, but I think it woke us up," Lange said. "When you are tying to stop a back like (Volker), you try to layer your defense so there are multiple players who are going to get a shot at him and if he gets by one layer, you have another set of guys there. I think we did a better job of staying with those assignments after that first drive."
After going scoreless for nearly two full quarters, Rumson capped a 13-play, 64-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run by senior Von Factor on a fullback dive on the first play of the fourth quarter.
RBC responded with a 43-yard kickoff return by Stolfa into Rumson territory and on 3rd-and-10, Borriello floated a pass down the left sideline that Bauman high-pointed and hauled in for a 24-yard catch. The Caseys opted for a 40-yard field goal attempt by O'Connor - who booted three touchbacks and three extra points prior - but could not connect.
The teams traded three-and-outs and Rumson took over on its own 41. The Bulldogs marched to the RBC 23 and faced a 3rd-and-11 with just over two minutes to play. Harmon hit senior Luke Devlin for a short pass and Devlin dashed for a 12-yard gain and a crucial first down.
The wind came out of Rumson's comeback effort on the next play when another low snap led to a 12-yard loss. The Bulldogs could not complete any of their next three passes, the Caseys took over and took three knees to end the game.
"Second-and-twenty, we felt a lot more comfortable," Diorio said. "Coach made a great call and we executed."
Red Bank Catholic 21, Rumson-Fair Haven 14
RFH - John Volker 56-yard run (Justin Worobel kick)
RBC - Robert Stolfa 7-yard run (Mike O'Connor kick)
RBC - Anthony Boriello 6-yard run (Mike O'Connor kick)
RBC - Najih Rahman 29-yard interception return (Mike O'Connor kick)
RFH - Von Factor 2-yard run (Justin Worobel kick)
Rushing - RFH: John Volker 26-173, Geoff Schroeder 8-48, Von Factor 1-2, Josh Harmon 8-0; RBC: Sabino Portella 4-13, Robert Stolfa 3-10, Daniel Brewton 3-7, Corbett Cimini 1-2, Jaidin Hayes 1-0, Anthony Boriello 18-(-2)
Passing - RFH: Josh Harmon 6-17-3 45; RBC: Anthony Boriello 10-19-0 100
Receiving - RFH: Patrick Jamin 2-21, Luke Devlin 2-14, Geoff Schroeder 2-10; RBC: Alex Bauman 3-68, Robert Stolfa 4-22, Daniel Brewton 1-6, Jaidin Hayes 1-5, Najih Rahman 1-(-1)
Interceptions-Return Yards - RBC: Najih Rahman 1-29, Joe Diorio 1-7, Lenny Loria 1-0