Lubischer’s Return at QB Fuels Red Bank Catholic’s Win over Red Bank
By Ella Brockway - Student Contributor
RED BANK — In his first game back since he was knocked out of Red Bank Catholic’s season opener in September with a shoulder injury, Caseys quarterback Steve Lubischer looked cool and confident under center Friday night.
The sophomore collected 184 passing yards with five completions and three touchdowns in the Caseys’ 35-0 win over crosstown rivals Red Bank.
“We’re obviously very confident in his ability, but with no live game action, game speed, all of those things, you’re just hopeful that things will go as planned,” said Red Bank Catholic head coach Frank Edgerly. “He was poised, and even on the ones he missed on, he didn’t miss by much.”
The game marked a return to winning ways for the Caseys, who were coming off a 41-21 non-divisional loss to St. John Vianney in Week 7, and were also looking to avenge last year’s 24-21 loss to the Bucs.
“We were dealt some injuries early on, and we always preach overcoming adversity,” said Edgerly. “I think that this team, week to week to week, has overcome something, and you have to believe that as you get deeper into the season, having to overcome these things is all going to serve us well.”
Caseys running back Zack Bair continued his strong junior season in the win, finishing with 73 rushing yards on 11 carries and a touchdown off of a 54-yard punt return. Bair now has a team-high 865 rushing yards on the year.
Freshman tight end Kevin Bauman had the first breakout game of his high school career, scoring his first touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Lubischer in the first quarter, and catching another 70-yarder from Lubischer in the third. At 6-foot-4, Bauman is one of only two freshmen listed on the Red Bank Catholic varsity roster, and Edgerly believes that tonight’s performance is a good sign of things to come.
“He has as good of hands as you’re going to see, and I don’t care what your grade level is,” said Edgerly. “He’s a big target with that body control and hands. When he has a catch radius that big, you don’t have to be perfect for him to catch the ball.”
Red Bank Catholic held a 14-0 lead, off of Lubischer’s touchdown pass and Bair’s punt return, heading into the second half. On just the second play of the third quarter, the Caseys scored again on a 62-yard pass from Lubischer to sophomore wide receiver Jaden Key. Key caught two passes for 77 yards to add to his season total of seven catches for 198 yards.
The Red Bank Catholic defense allowed Red Bank only three trips to the red zone, and forced the Bucs to turn the ball over on all three. Senior defensive linebacker Justin Noah forced a Red Bank fumble on a third down and eight from the Bucs’ own 19-yard line with 5:07 left in the third quarter, and two plays later, Lubischer found Bauman again for a 70-yard touchdown score. Noah and fellow senior linebacker Nas Darnell commanded the Red Bank Catholic defense all night, combining for 12 tackles and two sacks.
“(Darnell) is a physically gifted kid, and when he digs in, you’re going to have a very difficult time keeping him under wraps,” said Edgerly. “And for (Noah) to come out here in a game like this, and play like this on that level, that’s kind of just who he is.”
The Caseys again stopped a Red Bank advance early in the fourth quarter, forcing Bucs quarterback Stephen Navitsky to throw the ball away on a fourth down and ten at the 24-yard line with 8:50 left in the game. Navitsky had 6 completions on 14 attempts, and finished with 52 all-purpose yards.
RBC’s final score came late in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard carry into the end zone from sophomore lineman Tommy Smith.
The Bucs will host Raritan in their final home game on November 4, while Red Bank Catholic will finish its regular season with Manasquan next week. The Caseys sit in fourth place behind Middletown South, Wall and Manasquan in the Class B North division.
Red Bank 14 0 14 7 -- 35
RBC 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Red Bank - Noah Mickens: 3-25, Tyrese Morris: 12-34, Stephen Navitsky: 3-9, Chris Brannagan: 7-29, Chris Outterbridge: 4-18, Jalen Willis: 3-6, Mason Gray: 1-6 Total: 127 yards
Red Bank Catholic - Zack Bair: 11-73, Nick Brusca: 4-30, Logan Whelan: 3-6, Steve Lubischer: 2-(-5), Billy Guidetti: 1-19, Tommy Smith: 1-2 Total: 125 yards
Red Bank - Stephen Navitsky: 6-14-0-43 Total: 43 yards
Red Bank Catholic - Steve Lubischer: 5-9-0-184 Total: 184 yards
Red Bank - Danny Wagner: 1-4, Chris Brannagan: 2-5, Chris Outterbridge: 3-34 Total: 43 yards
Red Bank Catholic - Zack Bair: 1-15, Kevin Bauman: 2-92, Jaden Key: 2-77 Total: 184 yards
Tackles (top three)
Red Bank - Chris Outterbridge: 5, Jack Haytaian: 4, Tyrese Morris: 4
Red Bank Catholic - Matt Ansell: 9, Nasir Darnell: 6, Justin Noah: 6
1Q: Red Bank Catholic - Steve Lubischer 22-yard pass to Kevin Bauman (Ryan O’Hara kick)
1Q: Red Bank Catholic - Zack Bair 54-yard punt return (Ryan O’Hara kick)
3Q: Red Bank Catholic: Steve Lubischer 70-yard pass to Jaden Key (Ryan O’Hara kick)
3Q: Red Bank Catholic: Steve Lubischer 54-yard pass to Kevin Bauman (Ryan O’Hara kick)
4Q: Red Bank Catholic: Tommy Smith 2-yard run (Ryan O’Hara kick)