By TOM WILLIAMS
It has been quite a start to the football season for Ocean City.
Back to Back: For the first time since 1989, an OCHS team has engineered back-to-back shutouts. That team, coached by Wayne Colman, actually did it twice that season – the last time against Millville and Pleasantville in November. If you are wondering, the last time the Raiders shut out three straight teams was in 1985 when Tony Galante’s team held Bridgeton, Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City scoreless.
Impressive starts: The last time Ocean City started by scoring as many points as the 84 they have scored this year was in 2000 when Gary Degenhardt’s team scored 94 points in the first two games (but they allowed 42). That team went on to reach the South Jersey final. And the last time the Raiders started the season with consecutive shutouts was in 1976 when Ed Woolley’s team beat St. Joseph and Wildwood. That team actually shut out its first five opponents.
Jake: Wide receiver Jake Schneider caught four passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He has 162 receiving yards in two games and lifted his career yardage to 710, the 11th highest total recorded at OCHS. The all-time leader is Scott Lipford with 1,710. Lipford will be inducted into the OCHS Sports Hall of Fame next month.
Beckmann into the record book: The 5-11 senior tied a school record with three interceptions against EHT, including one for a TD. The first to do it was George Loder in 1954. Also tying the record were John Huff (1968), Ray Rogers (1997), Josh Grande (2009), Andy Fiorentino (2009) and Nick Zauck (2011).
Pick-six trifecta: Joining Beckmann with interception returns for touchdowns were Jake Inserra and Lou Conte. It marked the first time the Raiders have had three Pick-Sixes in one game. The total of five interceptions on Friday was one short of the school record set against Wildwood in 1972 by Mike Slaveski’s Cape-Atlantic League champions.
Defense: The Raiders limited EHT to minus-12 yards of total offense. Will Drain and Tom Oves each had five tackles, including four solos. Drain notched two sacks with Mike Williscroft, Brad Jamison and Gavin Parto each getting one sack.
Happy birthday: Junior quarterback Joe Repetti had another big day, presenting his mother, Sue – a former star athlete and coach at Mainland – with a happy birthday. Repetti ran for two scores and threw two. He is 13-for-17 in the first two games for 257 yards, four TDs and no interceptions.
Big foot: Brendan McGonigle might only be 150 pounds but the sophomore kicker has become a powerful weapon and the definition of consistency. He is 10 for 11 this season kicking extra points and 20 for 22 in his career. He is already tied with Kyle Blum and Dave Beyel for 11th in career extra points.
Top freshman: Riley Gunnels, the 6-2, 183 pound OCHS freshman QB, got his chance in the second half on Friday night. He completed two passes for 19 yards, the most passing yardage ever by a Raider freshman in a varsity game. The old record was seven yards in 2010 by Chris Gabor, who finished his high school career at St. Joe. Gunnels’ father, uncle and cousin all had successful football careers at Ocean City and his grandfather, after whom he is named, played at Georgia and seven seasons in the NFL with the Eagles and Steelers.
Kevin Smith says: “I thought our effort and our energy against EHT was outstanding. We were aggressive right out of the gate and we created turnovers and dominated field position. If you can do those things you are usually successful. We have to improve in some areas but we’ve really answered the bell these first two weeks.”
LINKS: The complete Ocean City-Egg Harbor Township stats are here. Two-game OCHS stat totals are here. The video of the game is here. Standings in selected WJFL divisions are here. Links to online coverage of this weekend’s games are here.