by TOM WILLIAMS
The fall high school sports season got started last week and Ocean City High School made a strong first impression. The highlight was the 49-7 win by the Raiders over Absegami in football Friday night at Carey Stadium.
Unusual atmosphere: There was cheering throughout the OCHS win as the game was filled with big plays. The marching band became a pep band, spending most of the game isolated on the southwest corner of the track. It was Senior Parents Night, very unusual for the first game of the season. But with possible week-to-week changes in the schedule, the idea was to make sure it happened and the parents got their credit. Though, since the parents made up almost all of the limited crowd, there was virtually no applause when they were all introduced. Tom Park also could not always be heard because of a problem with the public address system, forcing him to find alternative ways to announce. And the visitor’s score on the scoreboard did not work. But they played football and getting that first game going was the goal.
The Two Jakes: It was a murder mystery film about 30 years ago starring Jack Nicholson and Harvey Keitel. But Ocean City has its own version again this year. Jake Inserra scored two touchdowns for the Raiders, the fourth and fifth of his high school career. He also led the Raiders with nine tackles. Last year Inserra led the team with 90 tackles. He finished the Absegami game with 154 career tackles. And Jake Schneider returned an interception 45 yards for a TD, the 14th of his career but the first that wasn’t with a pass reception. Schneider caught four passes for 54 yards against the Braves, lifting his career receiving total to 1,293 yards, third best in OCHS history behind Hall of Famer Scott Lipford (1,710) and Ray Rogers (1,378).
The Repetti File: Senior QB Joe Repetti completed six of 12 passes for 86 yards and the 21st touchdown pass of his career – this one to senior Brady Rauner for his first varsity score. Repetti now has 1,513 career passing yards, eighth best at OCHS, and is nine TD passes away from Al Genz’s career record. He also ran for the 33 yards Friday and the eighth touchdown of his career.
Mr. Automatic: Junior Brendan McGonigle kicked seven extra points in seven tries on Friday, falling one short of Matt Daher’s school single-game record against Holy Spirit in 1995. McGonigle has made 51 of 56 extra point attempts in his career, the fourth highest PAT total at OCHS behind Dan Kennard (81), Matt Chila (54) and Chris Curran (52).
Maintaining control: The OCHS defense did a good containing Absegami’s junior QB, junior Ray Weed, and dangerous senior receiver-return back Jordan Marcucci. They did connect on an 81-yard TD in the fourth quarter but, aside from that, Weed was 5 for 18 for 50 yards, with a couple of his passes dropped. The Weed-Marcucci combo ranks with other top CAL pairs including Holy Spirit’s Cohen-Steward and The Prep’s Leyman-Hill. But they all trail Ocean City’s Repetti-Schneider.
49 points: The 49 points scored by the Raiders was the most scored against Absegami since 1996 when the Raiders won, 53-12. That OCHS team, inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame, went on to finish 11-0 and win the South Jersey championship. Ocean City last scored that many points against Egg Harbor Township, 49-0, last year.
The full box score of the Ocean City-Absegami game is here.
Elsewhere: Girls Tennis played three matches, defeating Wildwood Catholic and Atlantic City and losing to Mainland. They go to Lower Cape May on Wednesday….Field Hockey defeated Holy Spirit, 10-0, with junior Carly Hanin getting the three-goal hat trick and senior Hofstra-recruit Tara McNally getting four assists. Ocean City hosts Atlantic City Wednesday at Carey Stadium….Boys Soccer defeated Wildwood Catholic, 11-1, with senior Kyle Harper scoring the hat trick and senior Reed Lindsay making five assists. The Raiders host Middle Township today (Oct. 6)….Girls Soccer shut out Wildwood Catholic, 9-0, with senior Rutgers-recruit Faith Slimmer scoring the hat trick and adding two assists. Sophomore Tori Vliet stopped two shots for the shutout. OCHS, ranked No. 5 in the state, is at Middle Township today….Cross Country swept Wildwood Catholic yesterday at Carey Stadium. The boys won, 15-50, with senior Tyler Greene leading the way. And the girls won, 19-44, with senior Erin Hanlon finishing first. The two teams, which have won a combined five South Jersey titles the last three years, host Vineland next Monday.