WHO: Rumson-Fair Haven (9-2) vs. Woodrow Wilson (9-3)

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 1 p.m.

WHERE: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford

RUMSON’S ROAD TO THE BOWL GAME: (Central Jersey Group 3) defeated Ocean, 28-7, in the quarterfinals; defeated Red Bank, 14-9, in the semifinals; defeated Somerville, 42-35, in the sectional final.

WOODROW WILSON’S ROAD TO THE BOWL GAME: (South Jersey Group 3) defeated Triton, 41-6, in the quarterfinals; defeated Delsea, 42-14, in the semifinals; defeated Burlington Township, 22-14, in the sectional final.

RUMSON’S BEST WIN: 42-35 over Somerville in the Central Jersey Group 3 championship game.

WOODROW WILSON’S BEST WIN: 22-14 over Burlington Township in the South Jersey Group 3 championship game.

PLAYOFF HISTORY: Rumson won its sixth sectional title and fifth in the last six seasons when it defeated Somerville, 42-35, on the road in the Central Jersey Group 3 final. Senior running back Alex Maldjian ran for 271 yards and four touchdowns on 49 carries to lead the way…The Bulldogs are 24-12 overall in 17 postseason appearances since 1974….Woodrow Wilson’s 22-14 win over Burlington Township in the South Jersey Group 3 final gave the Tigers their second sectional title and first since 2001…Senior quarterback Nick Kargman threw for 221 yards and three touchdowns to lead the way…Woodrow Wilson’s all-time postseason record is 11-17.


-Alex Maldjian, Sr., RB: 174 carries for 1,475 yard and 22 touchdowns (23 total).

-Collin Coles, Jr., QB: 91-for-163, 1,218 yards, 13 TDs, 11 INTs.

-Ian O’Connor, Sr., WR/TE: 35 rec. for 476 yards and 7 TDs.

-Jackson McCarthy, SR., WR: 17 rec. for 265 yards and 1 TD.

-Keegan Woods, Sr., LB: 167 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 INT.

-Christian Lanzalotto, Sr., LB: 117 tackles, 2 INT, 1 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries.

-Henry Sullivan, Sr., DL: 94 tackles, 4 sacks.

-Ryan Ruane, So., FS: 58 tackles, 3 INTs.

-Isaac Vernon, Sr., DL: 69 tackles, 6 sacks.

-Von Factor, So., DL/LB: 67 tackles, 4 sacks.

-Gordon Forsyth, Jr., DE: 50 tackles, 4 sacks.

-Ryan Dupree, Sr., DB: 85 tackles, 1 INT.


-Nick Kargman, Sr., QB: 239-for-417, 3,666 yards, 38 TDs, 16 INTs.

-Stanley King, Sr., WR/DB: 72 rec. for 1,339 yards and 13 TDs; 30 tackles, 4 INTs.

-Muheem McCargo, Jr., RB/LB: 141 carries for 876 yards and 12 TDs; 29 rec. for 340 yard and 3 TDs; 95 tackles, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles.

-Naiem Simmons, Sr., WR: 53 rec. for 828 yards and 8 TDs.

-Fadil Diggs, Jr., TE/DE: 29 rec. for 410 yard and 5 TDs; 56 tackles, 12 sacks.

-Amari Clark, Fr., WR/DB: 24 rec. for 363 yard and 2 TDs; 2 INTs.

-Dyshier Clary, Jr., DL: 9 sacks, 26 tackles.

-Marquay Graves, Sr., DB: 3 INTs.

Photo by Larry Murphy.
Rumson senior wide receiver/tight end Ian O'Connor. (Photo by Larry Murphy).

Rumson and Woodrow Wilson will square off in the first NJSIAA South Group 3 Bowl Game on Saturday afternoon at MetLife Stadium, and when they do so it will be a clash of styles.

Woodrow Wilson has New Jersey’s most prolific passing attack with senior quarterback Nick Kargman and senior wide receiver Stanley King leading the way. Kargman has thrown for 3,666 yards and 38 touchdowns with 16 INTs and is poised to conclude a historic season, statistically. He needs 23 yards to break the state single-season passing record of 3,688 yards set by Timber Creek’s Devin Leary in 2016. Earlier this season, Kargman set the state single-game passing record with 539 yards in a 59-37 win over Cedar Creek.

King, who is committed to Louisville, leads the Tigers’ receiving corps with 72 catches for 1,339 yards and 13 touchdowns, so it goes without saying Kargman will be looking his way often against Rumson. Woodrow Wilson also has a bruising running back in junior Muheem McCargo, who was rushed for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns while catching 29 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns.

Woodrow Wilson obviously presents a huge challenge for Rumson’s defense, especially the secondary. The Bulldogs’ don’t have a player who is going to match up one-on-one with King, so it’s going to be a collective effort in the defensive backfield. Getting pressure on Kargman will be paramount because if he has time to throw he’s going to put up huge numbers. Henry Sullivan and company up front need to win that battle and make life uncomfortable for Kargman.

Rumson's defense has been very good against the run this year, led by senior linebacker Keegan Woods and his 167 tackles. Woodrow Wilson is going to throw the ball a lot, anyway, but if Rumson can stop McCargo and make the Tigers one-dimensional it will at least give the pass rush more chances to pin its ears back and get after Kargman.

Rumson’s biggest weapon against Woodrow Wilson may actually be its own offense. This game is very similar to the Central Jersey Group 3 sectional final where the Bulldogs beat Somerville, 42-35. Rumson didn’t shut down Somerville’s high-octane offense and quarterback Jalahn Dabney, but instead out-scored it and limited its chances with a dominating rushing attack. Expect to see another heavy dose of senior running back Alex Maldjian, who had 49 carries for 271 yards and 4 touchdowns in the sectional final behind a formidable offensive line. Running the ball effectively will also neutralize Woodrow Wilson’s pass rush, which is led by juniors Fadil Diggs (12 sacks) and Dyshier Clary (9 sacks).

Prediction: Rumson 35-28.


Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at bob.badders@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.


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