Early kickoff in Mays Landing this week

By TOM WILLIAMS

Coaches: Ocean City’s Kevin Smith is 43-50 in his 10th season, the fourth most wins in Raider history. Oakcrest’s Eric Anderson is 15-25 in five season. Smith’s teams are 2-3 against Oakcrest and Anderson is 2-2 against the Raiders.

Jake Inserra scored twice against Absegami. (BRIAN GREEN Photo)

Oakcrest Update: The Falcons are the only CAL football team that does not have a single player returning this year who scored a touchdown last year. The only returning scorer for Oakcrest is junior kicker David Connelly (5-11, 171) who scored 18 points, including two field goals – the longest from 36 yards, the third longest FG by a CAL kicker last year. The Falcons were shut out by Atlantic City, 40-0, in their opener last Friday. Sophomore Joel Thompson (5-11, 166) is the quarterback – he threw for 142 yards in the opener. Senior Shamar Gonzalez (5-11, 175) is a quick wide receiver who transferred from Florida. Senior Nissim Respes (6-0, 174) is another wide receiver, junior Marcus Holcomb-White (6-3, 207) is the tight end and both junior Julian Frank (5-9, 161) and senior C.J. Hamler (5-9, 152) will carry the ball. Seniors Jack Walker (5-10, 257) and Jaiden Green (6-2, 263) and junior Cameron Rodriguez (5-11, 231) anchor the offensive line. There is only one returning starter on defense – but he is large. Senior Angel Fisher (6-0, 387) is back at defensive tackle. His teammates call him “Snacks”. The Oakcrest secondary gave up four passing TDs and over 300 passing yards last week.

Jake Schneider returned an interception 45 yards for his 14th career TD. (BRIAN GREEN Photo)

Tickets – and more: A total of 500 tickets have been distributed, 200 of them to Ocean City. Most of those have been made available to OCHS football players, band members and cheerleaders. There will be no tickets available at the stadium. If you do not have a ticket, do not come to Oakcrest Friday Night. If you do have a ticket, you must be wearing a mask to enter the stadium. Players on the field may remove masks but all players, coaches and others on the sidelines must be wearing masks.

Live Stream: Live video play-by-play, produced by Matt Ulmer and Bill Shallcross, can be seen HERE, along with more than a decade’s worth of videos of other OCHS games. There will be no radio coverage of this game, though the video stream will also be available on almost all mobile devices.

History: The Raiders lead Oakcrest, 21-9, in the all-time series. Ocean City won last year, 34-7, in Mays Landing.

Brady Rauner beat the defense for a TD pass from Joe Repetti against Absegami. (BRIAN GREEN Photo)

Smith on Oakcrest: “Oakcrest is always fast and athletic and they have some good bodies up front. That game last week got away from them but they are capable of playing good defense and making big plays. We need to start fast and play well to be successful.”

What’s At Stake: Unless the NJSIAA reverses itself and allows championship playoffs to be held, there is nothing really at stake this season. And there are no formal divisions in the West Jersey Football League. This season is all about the student-athletes just getting a chance to play.

Rankings: Ocean City is ranked #8 in The Online 25 rankings. Other CAL schools include #1 St. Augustine, #7 Holy Spirit, #10 St. Joseph, #12 Hammonton, #18 Pleasantville, #19 Cedar Creek and #25 Mainland. The complete list is HERE.

Last week: The Ocean City-Absegami box score is HERE.

Next week: Ocean City will travel to Egg Harbor City next Saturday to play Cedar Creek at noon. Oakcrest will host Buena next Friday at 6pm. This week’s full schedule of CAL teams is HERE.

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