By BRIAN CUNNIFF
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — The Middle Township High School football team will now face a difficult test.
After two convincing victories to start the season, the latest being Friday’s 41-0 result over Wildwood, Middle turns its attention to next weekend’s contest at Buena. For Middle, it’s a pivotal contest not only in the West Jersey United Division standings, but also in the push for a Group II playoff berth.
Middle goes into the game with the Chiefs having outscored its first two opponents 76-8. But the Chiefs, who lost their opener to Gateway and are scheduled to face Haddon Township Saturday, are certainly a step up in class.
“We’ve definitely improved from week to week, particularly offensively,” Middle coach Frank Riggitano said. “We’re doing things we thought we could do with the people we have there, so that’s very encouraging. We wanted to come out of these first two games healthy and with two wins and we did that.
“We’ve had terrible trouble with Buena year after year. We’ve only beaten them once (in Riggitano’s second stint as coach), although we’ve had a couple close ones. But it’s a huge game next weekend. We’re happy with what we were able to do these first two weeks but it’ll be a completely different atmosphere and a completely different kind of team we’re facing.”
Against Wildwood, Middle scored touchdowns on each of its first four possessions. Karl Giulian scored on runs of five and 19 yards in the opening quarter. In the second period, Luke Salvo caught a two-yard scoring pass from Kenderson Cardaci before Cardaci later ran in from nine yards out to establish Middle’s 27-0 lead at the half.
A 62-yard run by Giulian on the opening offensive play of the second half set up Cardaci’s three-yard touchdown toss to Matt Marino on the next play. It was the final action of the game for most of Middle’s starters.
Jadan Farrow rounded out the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Cardaci completed 7 of 9 passes for 93 yards. He’s now 16 for 23 through the air through two games. Marino, Salvo and Miles Sapp each caught two passes. Farrow led the rushing attack with 102 yards on just five carries. Giulian needed just four rushes to accumulate 91 yards.
Wildwood, which featured quite a few underclassmen among its 30 players in uniform, had some bright spots. The Warriors (0-1) narrowly missed connecting on a long touchdown pass in the third quarter and also had a long touchdown run in the fourth quarter called back due to a holding penalty.
The Warriors play at Clayton next Friday.