By TOM WILLIAMS
Not many 4-6 teams have left behind as many great memories as the 2018 Ocean City High School football team.
A few of those memories include frustration – letting the win get away at Triton, losing back-to-back thrillers to Oakcrest and Mainland and failing to get the tying touchdown at Highland in the NJSIAA Group 3 playoffs.
Despite the frustrations involved, those games will be discussed for years.
But there are so many other great moments.
Brandon Lashley (above) had a string of incredible catches, which pushed him to the top among wide receivers from Cape-Atlantic League schools. In receiving yards, by the way, sophomore Jake Schneider was second in the CAL and Bill Kroeger fourth.
The overall skill of all four of the OCHS receivers, including junior Brian Beckmann.
The passing skills and poise in the pocket of Ian Aungst (below), who used his only year as a starter to rewrite the school single-season passing records.
Lashley’s two incredible interception returns – a school record 105 yards against Washington Township and 94 yards against Egg Harbor Township. The 105-yard return might earn him a $2,000 scholarship.
The ability of Brandon Lin (below) to find the ball carrier, leading the team in tackles three consecutive years, totaling 279 tackles, 88 solos and 19.5 for losses. And the pursuit by Travis Stoerrle, who led the team in solo tackles this year.
Speaking of tackles for losses, Austin Green tackled opposing players for 182 yards in losses – almost two lengths of the Carey Stadium field – during his career in which he ended up third best all-time in career sacks.
There were also the two touchdowns scored in the final three minutes of the first half against EHT; two touchdowns within 30 seconds in the first quarter against Bridgeton and two more in the final six seconds of the first half; the 80-yard drive in three minutes to tie the Mainland game before the Mustangs’ Sean Carey kicked a 41-yard game winning field goal; and two touchdowns in seven seconds of the first period against Washington Township.
The season was filled with school records for a single season:
In addition, Aungst set new records for pass attempts and completions in a game (23 for 48 vs St. Augustine) and Lashley tied the school record for TD passes in a game twice (three, vs Bridgeton and Washington Township).
By the way, Washington Township is not likely to look forward to another visit to Ocean City. The Minutemen have played at Carey Stadium twice and have lost the two games by an 80-0 margin.
Kevin Smith (33-47 in eight seasons) will lose Aungst and two of his receivers, Lashley and Kroeger, to graduation. Lin, Stoerrle, Green and Kevin King will be major losses on the defensive side. Zac Clark, Jackson Young, Joe Groves and Dan Auberzinsky will be missed on the offensive line.
But Schneider, Beckmann and Jaden Rogers will be back to catch the ball. Jake Inserra and Issac Wilson will return at running back where they could be joined by a few promising backs from the freshmen team. Chris Armstrong will be back to anchor the line. Sophomores Will Drain, Mike Rhodes and Brad Jamison should add to the defense. And there are four kickers coming back, Henry Souto, Brendan McGonigle, Micah Waid and punter Joe Repetti, who may fill a bigger role next season.
Forget the 4-6 record. The 2018 OCHS football team left enough memories behind to last a lifetime.
Here are the complete 2018 OCHS football stats – http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCFootStatsTotal2018.html.
Watch the video of every game – http://www.primeevents.net/OCFBVideo2018.html.
See where the Raiders stand among CAL statistic leaders – http://www.primeevents.net/calfootballx.html.
Check out the review of the OCHS cross country and girls tennis teams here – https://coastsportstoday.com/2018/12/reviewing-the-ochs-cross-country-and-girls-tennis-seasons/.
And the soccer and field hockey seasons here – https://coastsportstoday.com/2018/12/reviewing-the-2018-ochs-soccer-and-field-hockey-seasons/.
All the day-by-day results and schedules are in the Raider Diary – http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.