By TOM WILLIAMS
Coaches: Ocean City’s Kevin Smith is 46-50 in his 10th season, the fourth most wins in Raider history. He will tie Ed Woolley for third with his next victory. Mainland’s Chuck Smith is 50-59 in his 12th season overall, 19-24 in five years at Mainland and 31-35 in seven years at Oakcrest. Kevin Smith’s teams are 3-5 against the Mustangs, Chuck Smith is 4-3 all-time against the Raiders. The two coaches are both Mainland graduates and played together on the 1983 Mustangs team.
Mainland Update: The Mustangs won close games with Egg Harbor Township (13-6) and Pleasantville (7-6). They lost to St. Augustine (49-7), Vineland (14-13) and. in their only common opponent with Ocean City, lost to Absegami (28-13). The Raiders defeated Absegami, 49-7. Sophomore running back Ja’Briel Mace (5-9, 165) is the key to the Mainland offense. He gained more yards last season (1,389) than any freshman in Cape-Atlantic League history. Mace has missed two games with an injury but has 291 yards and two touchdowns in three games. Senior Brody Levin (5-8, 159) and freshman Jake Meyers (5-11, 144) have played quarterback for Mainland, combining for 374 yards and three TD passes. They have been intercepted eight times. Sophomore Nick Wagner (6-1, 186) has caught 12 passes for 209 yards. Seniors Sam Epstein (5-10, 207) and Chris Campbell (6-1, 229) anchor the offensive line. Epstein, senior free safety McKenzie Murphy (5-9, 172) and sophomore cornerback Julian Rivera (5-7, 156) are the key players on defense, combining for 95 tackles, 15 for losses. Senior strong safety Dennis Moreno (5-8, 163) has scored two defensive touchdowns, second only to OC’s Jake Schneider in the CAL. Junior Brady Panas (5-7, 146) has kicked five extra points.
Scoring Averages: Ocean City 44.5, Mainland 10.6.
Defensive Averages: Ocean City 7.5, Mainland 20.6
Complete OCHS four-week stats are HERE.
Tickets – and more: A total of 500 tickets have been distributed, around 300 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 Carey Stadium on Friday. If you do have a ticket, you must be wearing a mask to enter the stadium and stay 6-10 feet apart from other fans. Players on the field may remove masks but all players, coaches and others on the sidelines must be wearing masks.
Live Video Coverage: The live video stream 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 is no radio coverage of the game but the video stream is available on virtually every mobile device.
History: Ocean City trails Mainland, 20-28, in the all-time series. This will be the 49th meeting. Last year, Mainland defeated the Raiders, 21-6, to win the WJFL division championship. A week later, in the NJSIAA Group 4 playoffs, Ocean City defeated the Mustangs, 21-14. Both games were played in Linwood last year. Mainland has won 10 of the last 14 games played at Carey Stadium.
Smith on Mainland: “Mainland is young but they are well-coached. They play good defense and Mace can score any time he touches the ball on offense. It is a rivalry game so we will get their best effort. We need to keep playing the way we’ve been been playing to be successful.”
What’s At Stake: There is nothing really at stake this season. There are no NJSIAA playoffs or formal divisions in the West Jersey Football League. This season is all about the student-athletes just getting a chance to play.
South Jersey Rankings: Ocean City is ranked #6 in The Online 25 rankings. Other CAL schools include #3 Holy Spirit, #5 St. Joseph, #7 St. Augustine and #10 Hammonton. The complete list is HERE.
Other Rankings: Ocean City is ranked #8 in New Jersey by MaxPreps. Mainland is #87. The Born Power Index makes Ocean City a 28-point favorite in the game.
Last game: The Ocean City-Millville box score is HERE.
Next week: In NJSIAA post-season games, Ocean City with travel to Burlington Township in a battle of teams currently undefeated on Friday night (Nov. 13) at 6pm. Mainland will host Atlantic City that Friday afternoon at 4pm.
This week’s full schedule of CAL teams is HERE.