Playin’ In The Rain
A little of this and a little of that following a weekend that produced plenty of rain and wind, some flooding and a lot of anxiety but thank goodness, no hurricane.
I’ve been following high school football for more than 45 years and have covered it professionally for the last 37 and don’t recall a game that ended with a 2-0 score. Yet in a span of less than 24 hours we had two of them in Ocean County over the weekend.
Friday night, in simply awful conditions, Brick beat Jackson Memorial 2-0 on a safety in the 1st quarter when a high snap on a punt went out of the end zone. No doubt the wind had something to do with it. We broadcast the game on the Shore Sports Network and it was simply dreadful but there were no sour grapes as both teams wanted to play. Saturday afternoon Toms River South beat Lacey by the same 2-0 score when they tackled a Lion ball carrier in the end zone with just 5 ½ minutes left in the game.
Two games, two safeties, no touchdowns. I don’t expect I’ll ever see that again in my lifetime.
Making decisions on whether to play or not are among the responsibilities that give athletic and school officials grey hair. Or no hair. It’s the ultimate “you can’t win” move because it impacts more than just the game but things like the band, cheerleaders and others. However the game should come first and postponing it by a day or two does not guarantee things will be much better later plus you have to take into consideration the fact there’s another game the following weekend.
Southern and Howell moved their scheduled Friday night game to yesterday which worked well for the Rams because they have a bye coming up while the Rebels now have a short week to get ready for top-ranked Middletown South. By the way, Southern pulled out a dramatic 21-14 victory when Sam Cammarata threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Nick Simonelli with just 12 seconds left in regulation.
Major League Baseball’s six-month, 162-game regular season came to a close Sunday with the Yankees and Mets heading to the postseason while the Phillies can take little solace in the fact they avoided a 100-loss season. Meanwhile Toms River’s Todd Frazier concluded his best major league season by going 2-for-3 in the Reds’ loss to the Pirates. Frazier struggled over much of the final half but finished with a career-best 35 homers, 43 doubles and 89 RBI’s while batting .255 and of course who will forget his dramatic victory in the Home Run Derby as part of the All-Star game in his home ballpark in Cincinnati.