By TOM WILLIAMS
After two thrilling wins in the first two rounds, Ocean City’s march through the NJSIAA Group 4 playoffs ended at the hands of the two-time defending champions.
Shawnee (9-2) made it three straight sectional championships with a 28-0 win on its field in Medford. And the Renegades got the job done with key plays on offense and defense.
The Goal Line Stand: After a pretty even first half ended with Shawnee ahead, 7-0, the Renegades started the third period with a 70 yard drive in 11 plays and just over four and a half minutes. The Renegades scored on a 17 yard TD pass by sophomore QB Matt Welsey, his 10th of the season. But Ocean City responded with a 15_play drive that used 6:49. Joe Repetti hit Jake Schneider for 14 yards and a first down. Repetti scrambled for 11 yards on a third and 10. The Raiders had third and one on the Shawnee two when Jake Inserra got a yard and a first down. But, on the next four plays, Ocean City actually lost two yards. The first three plays were stopped at the line of scrimmage and Shawnee stopped the Raiders for a two-yard loss on fourth down. It was a strong drive by OCHS in response to Shawnee’s second TD. But it was a very impressive goal line stand by Shawnee, preventing an Ocean City score that would have created an entirely different situation in the game.
The Two Jakes: Schneider increased his receiving yards for the season to 636, the fifth highest total in school history. At Shawnee, he moved past Ryan Taylor’s totals as both a junior and senior. Schneider has 1,184 career receiving yards. Inserra was involved in nine tackles last Friday and continues to lead the team with 85 this season. He has 140 tackles over two season.
Defense: Brad Jamison was involved in 11 tackles against Shawnee, including five solos. Jacob Wilson and Brady Rauner each had four solos. With one game left in the season, the trio of Mike Rhodes, Matt Christy and Will Drain have combined for 35 tackles for losses with the losses totaling nearly 145 yards. And another interesting item – the top seven Ocean City players in total tackles are all underclassmen.
Time of Possession: Despite their significant scoring advantage this season, Ocean City actually averages having possession of the ball more than four minutes less per game than the other team. A lot of that has to do with how quickly OCHS scored in the early games of the season. Shawnee had the ball two seconds more than Ocean City last Friday.
NJSIAA Group 4: Shawnee will play Hammonton (10-2) on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Rutgers for what they call the South/Central Regional Group 4 Championship. The Renegades defeated Hammonton, 31-8, back on Sept. 20 in Medford. Shawnee scored on four rushing TDs in that game. Hammonton played without star running back Jaiden Abrams (1,753 yards, 21 TDs).
Shutout: The loss ended the Raiders’ streak of 39 straight games without being shut out. The last shutout had been to Oakcrest, 35-0 in September of 2016. Ocean City once played 110 straight games without being shut out, thought to be a South Jersey record. That streak lasted from November of 1993 until September of 2004.
300 Points: Though they didn’t score against Shawnee, this OCHS team is the seventh in school history to score 300 or more points in a season. The 2019 Raiders have also outscored opponents by 169 points, the ninth highest margin in school history.
The black pants: The Raiders are now 2-1 in the black pants, but are still 4-0 in their red pants. Lets see what Thanksgiving brings.
Kevin Smith says: “We had some opportunities we didn’t take advantage of and Shawnee made the big plays when they had to. You can see why they are a championship program. But I was very proud of how hard our kids played. We gave them a good run. They just wore us down at the end. It was a great learning experience and hopefully we will come back stronger for it next season.”
Links: The complete Ocean City-Shawnee stats are here. Complete 11-game OCHS stat totals are here. The video of the game is here. Remaining schedule for CAL teams is here. Links to online coverage of this weekend’s games are here.