WITH THIRD TITLE, R-FH ENDS RBR’S DREAM

Defense carried the day as Rumson-Fair Haven Regional defeated Red Bank Regional 21-0 for the NJSIAA Central Group 3 championship at Rutgers in Piscataway Saturday night.

On the offensive side, Bulldogs running back Bryan Hess scored two touchdowns and quarterback Michael O’Connor scored the third in what O’Connor later told Shore Sports Zone was a “ground and pound” campaign. But the Dawg defense also pounded the Bucs, keeping star wide receiver Sadiq Palmer out of the end zone and forcing turnovers.

For the Bulldogs, it was the third straight state championship; for the Bucs, the end of an improbable 11-0 season as they tried to capture their first state title since 1975. Shore Sports Zone was there to capture all the highlights. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

 

LITTLE SILVER: RBR’S 1975 VICTORY RECALLED

RBR 120875A photo from the Red Bank Register’s December 8, 1975 coverage of the championship game, and a team photo from the 1976 yearbook, below. (Click to enlarge)
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Forty years.

It’s been that long since Red Bank Regional was a state football champion.

On Saturday night, the undefeated Buccaneers (11-0) have an opportunity to end the drought when they face the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Bulldogs (9-2) for the NJSIAA Central Group 3 title in Piscataway.

While the Bulldogs have racked up trophies — a win Saturday would be their third consecutive state championship — the Bucs haven’t tasted football glory since 1975.

But what glory it was. As reported by the now-defunct Red Bank Register, that season’s Central Jersey Group II  title game was something of an epic battle. RBR and Hightstown “tore at each other like fighting roosters” for four quarters before the Bucs emerged with a 46-44 win — their 28th straight victory.

The game is still regarded as “one the best games ever played in the history of New Jersey playoff football,” according to a “10 Things You Need to Know” about this year’s game published earlier this week by NJ.com.

Wednesday’s Asbury Park Press ran an article in which an RBR player and two coaches reminisced about the game — with a detour to Vince Lombardi’s grave in Middletown.

Below is the Register’s coverage the day after RBR’s victory, including an article by Rich Nicoletti, perhaps better known to some redbankgreen readers as the longtime keeper of the red clay tennis courts in Red Bank’s Marine Park.

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ON THE GREEN: MAYORS HAVE FUR IN THIS ONE

tim-grinch-band-rblightingAt stake: the dignity of at least two area mayors. (Click to enlarge)

The Battle of Ridge Road will pit maroon against purple in a high-stakes football game between Red Bank Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional high schools this weekend.

But in the aftermath, the mayors of at least two towns will end up dressed dressed in electric green.

That’s because the top elected officials in Fair Haven, Rumson, Little Silver, Red Bank and Shrewsbury have a group wager on the outcome of the NJSIAA Central Group 3 championship game  between the undefeated RBR Buccaneers (11-0) and the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional Bulldogs (9-2): those from the sending towns of the losing team must dress up as the Grinch at a Holiday Express event, Little Silver Mayor Bob Neff tells redbankgreen.

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RBR, R-FH FANS TO TAILGATE TOGETHER

rbr v cn 091815 2Quarterbacks Jack Navitsky of Red Bank Regional, above, and Mike O’Connor of Rumson-Fair Haven, below, lead their teams into a “once-in-a-lifetime” championship showdown Saturday. (Photos courtesy of Shore Sports Zone. Click to enlarge)

rfh o'connorIt may be the ultimate Battle of Ridge Road, but Saturday’s NJSIAA Central Group 3 championship football game between Red Bank Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional means both teams must hit the road, traveling to Rutgers in Piscataway.

Sure, “some folks will be in purple, and others in maroon,” but the game offers a chance for a “total community” event, says RBR alumnus and Little Silver resident Rick Brandt. He’s organizing a pre-game tailgate party at which supporters of both the RBR Buccaneers (maroon) and the R-FH Bulldogs (purple) are welcome to mingle and break bread.

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BUCS STILL PERFECT; BULLDOGS STOPPED

Undefeated Red Bank Regional continued its winning ways on Thursday, taking its traditional Thanksgiving Day game at home against Long Branch, 35-12. Alim Godsey and Sadiq Palmer had two two touchdowns apiece for the Buccaneers.

Meantime, Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs fell to Shore Regional at home, 20-14.

Shore Sports Zone has all the video highlights of those two games and more

The Bucs (11-0) and the Bulldogs (9-2) will meet in Piscataway on December 5 for the Central Jersey Group 3 championship.

 (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

 

UNDEFEATED RBR TO FACE R-FH FOR TITLE


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It’ll be the Battle of Ridge Road — played at Rutgers in Piscataway — in two weeks when undefeated Red Bank Regional (above against Ocean Township), and defending state champs Rumson-Fair Haven (below, against Matawan) face off for the NJSIIA Central Group 3 championship following semifinal wins by each Friday night.

Meanwhile, 2014 state champion Red Bank Catholic was dethroned on the road against St. John Vianney of Holmdel, which advances to the non-public Group 3 title game.

Shore Sports Zone caught all the action on video.  (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

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BUCS TO FACE DAWGS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Undefeated Red Bank Regional continued its dream football season Friday night, winning on the road against Ocean Township and advancing to the Central Jersey Group 3 final game, where its opponent will be Rumson-Fair Haven.

Syracuse-bound RBR wide receiver Sadiq Palmer scored all three Bucs touchdowns and had an interception in the 21-14 win. As usual Shore Sports Zone has all the highlights on video.

RBR hasn’t reached the final game since 2003 and hasn’t won a sectional championship since 1975

Meanwhile, defending state champion Rumson-Fair Haven, playing at home, bested Matawan, 24-13, setting up a Battle of Ridge Road that pits the top-seeded Bulldogs against the third-seeded Bucs in two weeks.

Elsewhere, undefeated St. John Vianney steamrolled the Red Bank Catholic Caseys, 49-6, in Holmdel, to advance to the non-public Central Group 3 final.  (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

 

CASEYS POST QUALITY ROAD WIN

Red Bank Catholic’s Dylan Murphy came up big, scoring three touchdowns and leading the Caseys to a 21-14 win on the road against Pope John Saturday afternoon. Rich Chrampanis and the folks at Shore Sports Zone were there to capture all the action and serve up these video highlights.

Up next for RBC in its quest for another non-public Group 3 championship: St. John Vianney next Friday night. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

 

RBR & R-FH POST CONVINCING WINS

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Alim Godsey tears up some yardage, above, as undefeated Red Bank Regional won its first postseason football game in years with a 30-0 shutout of South Plainfield at home Friday night. Shore Sports Zone caught all the action on video, which you can see here.

Also on the SSZ reel: watch defending state champion Rumson-Fair Haven crush Rahway, 43-6 as Bulldogs quarterback Mike O’Connor, right, ran for two touchdowns of 50-plus yards.

Both the Bucs and the Dawgs advanced toward a possible showdown in the Group 3 championship. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

 

BUCS KEEP STREAK ALIVE; DAWGS ADVANCE


Undefeated Red Bank Regional won its first postseason football game in years with a 30-0 shutout of South Plainfield at home Friday night. Shore Sports Zone caught all the action on video.

But first up on the SSZ reel: defending state champion Rumson-Fair Haven, playing at home, routed Rahway, 43-6 in Central Jersey Group 3. Bulldogs quarterback Mike O’Connor ran for two touchdowns of 50-plus yards.

Just west on Ridge Road in Little Silver, the RBR Bucs played a methodical game on the ground that saw standout wide receiver Sadiq Palmer score two running TDs and running back Alim Godsey another. Palmer also scooped up a fumble on defense and ran it in for a score.  The highlights start at 3:37 on the SSZ reel.

Up next: on Friday night, the Bucs face Ocean Township — which was seeded second in Central Jersey Group 3, despite having lost to to RBR 16-6 in the third game of the season. 

The Bulldogs next take on Matawan, at home, and the winner of that game will face the winner of RBR-Ocean for the Group 3 championship. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

 

RBR BUCS FINISH SEASON WITHOUT A LOSS

rbr v man 110615 1rbc v jm 110615 2Led by QB Jack Navitsky, above, Red Bank Regional finished the 2015 regular football season undefeated with a 31-14 win at Manchester Friday night. Shore Sports Zone caught all the action, as well as seven other big games across Monmouth and Ocean counties, including a come-from-behind win by Red Bank Catholic (right). Check out all the action right here(Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

 

BUCS ARE UNDEFEATED; CASEYS RALLY


Red Bank Regional finished the 2015 regular football season undefeated with a 31-14 win at Manchester, and Shore Sports Zone caught all the action, as well as seven other big games across Monmouth and Ocean counties.

But first, at 4:35 of the highlight reel, Red Bank Catholic quarterback Eddie Hahn racked up 284 all-purpose yards and ran for two touchdowns as the Caseys scored 21 unanswered points to beat Jackson Memorial, 21-10, at Count Basie Fields in Red Bank Friday night. RBC closed out the season at 7-2, with one of its two losses having come at the hands of RBR.

Then, at 12:00 in the reel, watch how Alim Godsey, Jack Navitsky, Sadiq Palmer and the rest of the Bucs handled winless Manchester to bring home the eighth win of RBR’s stellar season.

Elsewhere, Rumson-Fair Haven routed Holmdel, 41-0. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

 

BOYS’ SOCCER: R-FH ADVANCES

Top-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven beat Raritan 4-0 to advance to the second round in the boys state Central Jersey Group 2 tournament in Rumson Tuesday evening.

The scoring included a must-see header by Jeremy Nives, and Shore Sports Zone caught it in gorgeous slo-mo.

CASEYS LOSE, DAWGS & BUCS POST WINS

rfh v rar 103115With the clock ticking down, Red Bank Catholic quarterback Eddie Hahn drove the Caseys to within a few yards of a game-tying score, but came up short as Ocean Township stunned RBC with a 42-35 win at Count Basie Fields in Red Bank Friday night. The video cameras of Shore Sports Zone caught all the action as 2014 state champion RBC dropped to 6-2 on the season and Ocean improved to 6-1.

Also on video on our Sports page: Rumson-Fair Haven’s 21-20 squeaker at Raritan (above right) and undefeated (not a typo!) Red Bank Regional’s 37-6 homefield rout of Holmdel, below. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

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OCEAN CLOCKS RBC; DAWGS & BUCS POST WINS

In a football game with nail-biting drama down to the last tick of the clock, Ocean Township stunned Red Bank Catholic with a 42-35 win at Count Basie Fields in Red Bank Friday night. The video cameras of Shore Sports Zone caught all the action as  2014 state champion Caseys dropped to 6-2 on the season and Ocean improved to 6-1.

Also on this reel: Rumson-Fair Haven’s 21-20 squeaker at Raritan and undefeated (not a typo!) Red Bank Regional’s 37-6 homefield rout of Holmdel. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone)

R-FH GIRLS ADVANCE TO SCT SOCCER SEMIS

With Samantha Beaudrault providing stellar defense of the net, the Lady Bulldogs of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional held on to win 1-0 at home over Jackson Memorial in the Shore Conference girls soccer quarterfinals Monday night. The ever-ready videocameras of Shore Sports Zone were there. (Video courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

 

RUMSON: ADULT BOOKS PROMPT R-FH DEBATE

siobhan fallon hogan 101315With emergency lights on because of a power outage, parent Siobhan Fallon Hogan urged parental choice in the books read by teens. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE: See a statement from playwright Ariel Dorfman about this controversy appended to the bottom of this article.]

HOT-TOPIC_03It was a dimly lit and slightly damp night as about 150 members of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School community politely debated a stormy issue Tuesday: the place of two works of fiction in the curriculum.

Taking turns at a non-working microphone in an auditorium lit by emergency lights because of a power outage, a number of parents challenged the inclusion of two books on reading lists for juniors and seniors because of their adult themes and coarse language.

Led by former Saturday Night Live cast member Siobhan Fallon Hogan, the objectors insisted they were not out to ban or censor the books, but instead to call for a policy that would allow parents to choose substitute reading material they consider “age appropriate” for their children.

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RFH GIRLS COME UP SHORT IN STATE FINAL

The Rumson-Fair Haven girls’ lacrosse fought hard to keep up with Summit but fell, 12-5, in the Group 2 girls’ lacrosse state championship at Kean University Saturday. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

The Lady Bulldogs ended the season at 23-2 and wearing the South Jersey Group 2 crown. Congratulations on a thrilling season, ladies!

RFH GIRLS ARE STATE GROUP 2 LAX CHAMPS

Three members of the Rumson-Fair Haven girls’ lacrosse squad – Jillian Swikart, Elizabeth Scarrone and Brittany Bruno – had hat tricks as the Lady Bulldogs pelted Red Bank Catholic, 14-5, to win the South Jersey Group 2 final Wednesday. Shore Sports Zone has the video highlights.

The Lady Bulldogs, now 23-1 on the season, will face Summit on Saturday in the Group 2 Finals.

RFH: SWIKART’S ALL ABOUT THE ASSISTS

With the girls’ lacrosse squad of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional heading into the second round of the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs as the top seed, midfielder Jillian Swikart is clearly a standout. She scored seven goals as the Lady Bulldogs cruised to a third consecutive Shore Conference Tournament championship last week.

But Swikart – who managed the boys’ basketball team this winter – tells Shore Sports Zone that she gets more satisfaction from assists than from scoring herself. Watch for yourself.

The team faces Somerville in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

RFH: GIRLS CLINCH SCT LACROSSE TITLE

Number-one seed Rumson-Fair Haven’s girls dominated Shore Regional, 17-5, enroute to a third consecutive Shore Conference Tournament lacrosse championship at Monmouth University Monday.

Jillian Swikart scored seven goals and Brittany Bruno added six as the Lady Bulldogs broke a 4-4 tie to embark on a 13-1 run. Shore Sports Zone has the game highlights and post-game reaction.

RFH: GIRLS HEAD TO SCT LACROSSE FINALS

The number-one seed Rumson-Fair Haven Lady Bulldogs earned a trip to the Shore Conference Tournament lacrosse finals with a 16-11 win over Colts Neck at Ocean Township Saturday. Brittany Bruno had five goals and Elizabeth Scarrone added four. The Lady Bulldogs will face Shore Regional at Monmouth University for the championship on Monday at 4 p.m. Shore Sports Zone.

RFH GIRLS CRUISE PAST RBC, 14-2

Jillian Swikart scored five goals to pace the Rumson-Fair Haven Lady Bulldogs to a dominating effort at home over Red Bank Catholic in lacrosse Wednesday.  Brittany Bruno added three goals as RFH raced out to a 6-0 halftime lead and improved to 12-1 on the season. Video highlights courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.

RFH: GIRLS OWN KEY LACROSSE MATCHUP

Brittany Bruno had five goals and Elizabeth Scarrone added three goals and four assists in a dominating performance by the Rumson-Fair Haven Lady Bulldogs in a matchup featuring two 7-1 teams. Watch the Saturday afternoon highlights from Borden Stadium courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.