Josh Dixon Helps Freehold Move to 2-0 With a Win Over Freehold Township
By Art Gordon - Shore Sports Network contributor
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP - With only 30 players and a Class A North schedule filled with Group IV and V teams, Freehold Boro has found a way to make it work in starting 2-0 for the first time since 2008 after a victory over its rival on Friday night.
The Colonials (2-0, 2-0) led from start to finish against Freehold Township on their way to a 29-7 win in Class A North that allowed them to match their win total from all of last season.
The Norman “Duke” Ferrell Trophy will reside in the Boro this year after the ironmen Colonials used a small group of playmakers to fuel the victory in a game that has been moved from Thanksgiving to early in the season. Freehold has eight players who play on both sides of the ball and only come off the field for selective special teams, but there yet not a negative word could be heard from any of the “30 family members” as junior quarterback Jake Curry refers to them.
"We can not allow ourselves to be tired,'' said senior running back/cornerback Josh Dixon.
On the heels of a 217-yard, four-touchdown performance in a season-opening victory over Middletown North, Dixon led the Colonials with 149 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries and also helped shutdown the Patriots' offense with his play in the secondary.
Dixon opened the scoring on the Colonials' first possession, carrying it four times for 25 of the 28 yards on the drive and capping it with a three-yard scoring run for a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. Freehold extended the lead on the longest drive of the game when it went 76 yards in 17 plays, converting three fourth down attempts and finished with an eight-yard run by freshman Ashante Worthy for his first varsity touchdown and a 13-0 lead after a missed extra point.
The Patriots tried to get back into the game when they took the ensuing kickoff and marched 63 yards in just three plays, culminating with a 34-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jack O’Brien to senior Frank Suglia, who finished with seven catches for a career-high 137 yards. Christian Ramm’s extra point cut the Colonials' lead to 13-7.
The Patriots' defense then came up with a stop, but Freehold's defense answered with a big play of its own. Junior outside linebacker Jamel Smith-Rush scooped up a fumble and raced 45 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 20-7 going into halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Freehold's lead grew to 22-7 after a safety from a high snap that sailed out of the end zone. Dixon put the nail in the coffin with a 26-yard touchdown run with two minutes left in the game to continue Freehold's best start in six years.
Despite being undermanned depth-wise against most of their opponents, the Colonials have not let it stop them in their bid to rejuvenate their program after three straight losing seasons.
“We don’t let our numbers bother us,'' head coach Dave Ellis said. "We try to control only the things we are able to control. We are fortunate that the players we have are very versatile, and we put them in position where they hopefully will succeed. We are piecing it together, and the kids love it."
Freehold Boro 29, Freehold Township 7
. FB FT
First downs 10 17
Rushes-yards 42-272 34-119
Passing 2-5-1 16-33
Passing yards 1 199
Penalties 7-50 4-25
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-2
Freehold Boro (2-0, 2-0) 7 13 0 9 - 29
Freehold Twp. (1-1, 1-1) 0 7 0 0 - 7
FB: Dixon 3-yard run (Curcio kick).
FB: Worthy 8-yard run (kick failed).
FT: Suglia 34-yard pass from O'Brien (Ramm kick).
FB: Smith-Rush 45-yard fumble return (Curcio kick)
FB: Safety. Ball snapped out of end zone.
FB: Dixon 26-yard run (Curcio kick).
Rushing - FB: DIXON 25-149, WORTHY 7-45,CURRY 9-75, FENN 1-3; FT: PINE 18-36, O’BRIEN 7-3, AVANTI 1-(-2), WILSON 2-5, GALANTI 1-2, NOWACK 1-63, LARICY 4-12.
Passing - FB: CURRY 2-5-1 1; FT: O’BRIEN 16-33-0 199
Receiving - FB: WORTHY 2-1; FT: WILSON 2-1, SUGLIA 7-137, PINE 1-5, VON NESSEN 2-21, GALANTI 1-4, FENTON 3-31.
Interceptions: FT: CORVIL 1-0.