Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School
In front of a packed stadium at Kean University in Union, the Rumson-Fair Haven High School football team defeated Weequahic High School with a score of 14-6 to capture the NJSIAA Group II State Championship for the second time in four years.
The RFH Bulldogs were also named the Central A Public Champions in the Shore Conference, and finished the season with an overall record of 11-1.
Weequahic’s defense had allowed just three touchdowns during regular season play, and had not allowed a single touchdown in the post-season. That changed when senior quarterback Chase Caruso targeted senior wide receiver Sam Shaud in the middle of the game’s second quarter. Shaud made an 85-yard touchdown reception, and provided RFH with the spark it needed.
Junior running back Charlie Volker, who rushed for 2,105 yards and 24 touchdowns in the regular season, made the second touchdown for RFH by scoring from three yards out with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter. Senior defensive end Donald Bedell sacked Weequahic’s quarterback with just seconds left in the game, cementing the win.
First-year Head Coach Bryan Batchler, who served as Assistant to previous Head Coach Shane Fallon for eight years, used his mentor’s words of wisdom to motivate this year’s team.
“The players and coaches bought into the ‘Big TEAM little me’ philosophy that Coach Fallon had promoted over the past few years,” said Batchler. “I always liked that, so I had T-shirts printed with the expression for my coaches and players.”
Batchler expressed gratitude for the support of the parents and community, and for the hard work of his players and Assistant Coaches.
“I could not be more proud of the coaching staff and all the players for everything that was accomplished this season,” he said. “They believed in one another and proved that dedication and teamwork can really pay off.”