By TOM WILLIAMS
The dominance continued as the Raiders make it four straight with a running clock.
Running Clock: In New Jersey football, when one team leads by 35 or more points in the second half a “running clock” takes affect. The clock only stops for timeouts, scores, injuries and the end of the third period. The purpose is to reduce blowouts. (Some of the weekend’s scores in NJ – 62-0, 56-0, 55-0, 54-8, 50-7.) What it actually does is reduce the amount of time the substitutes have to play. And Ocean City has never had a season in which they were so far ahead to institute a running clock four times until this year. And the season is not even half over.
4-0: In the 59 seasons since Mainland opened and the sending districts to OCHS changed, the Raiders have been 4-0 seven times. They finished 11-1 and won the South Jersey championship in 1998, the last time they were 4-0. In 1996 they finished 11-0 as South Jersey champs. And the 1994 team finished 9-1. Those three teams were coached by Gary Degenhardt. Ocean City won its first four in 1976 under Ed Woolley and finished 6-2-1. They were 4-0 under Mike Slaveski in 1974 and finished 7-2. And, under John Cervino, they were 4-0 in both 1968 and 1967, finishing 6-2 and 8-1, respectively.
NJSIAA Group 4: Ocean City actually dropped to the No. 17 seed in South-Central Group 4 after the win over Absegami and. if the playoffs started this week, the Raiders would not qualify based on the NJSIAA Power Ratings. Two-time defending champion Shawnee (4-0) is No. 1 right now, Millville (1-3) is No. 5, Hammonton (2-2) is No. 6 and Mainland (4-0) is No. 15. Hammonton got a bunch of points for beating Holy Spirit last Friday and OCHS will also get a great many points for playing St. Augustine – win or lose – under the special Non-Public Multiplier the NJSIAA uses to encourage state public schools to play non-public teams.
Ranked. Ocean City remains in the South Jersey rankings for a second straight week, the first time since 2001. The Raiders join Cape-Atlantic League schools Cedar Creek, Holy Spirit, Mainland, St. Augustine and St. Joseph in the Online 25. This ranking includes every team that could play in NJSIAA South Jersey playoffs, including some schools generally considered Central Jersey schools. See where every team stands here.
King Jake: Junior wide receiver Jake Schneider caught three more passes for 28 yards and two touchdowns. He leads all Cape-Atlantic League players this year with six TD receptions and has 228 receiving yards in four games. Jake lifted his career yardage to 776, moving up to ninth in OCHS history, passing Mike Hinsley. He is one yard behind No. 8 Chris Harris.
Repetti: Junior QB Joe Repetti had another impressive game. He got the Raiders off to a great start with these first quarter numbers – 8 for 9 passing for 93 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the game 11 for 14 for 147 yards and three scores. Repetti is 35 for 44 on the season for 560 yards and 11 TDs – with no interceptions. His passing efficiency rate is an astronomical 268.9. To put that in perspective, the NCAA record for passing efficiency rating in a full season is 199.45 by Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama in 2018.
No. 3: Junior Isaac Wilson has six touchdowns this season, tied with Schneider for the Ocean City scoring lead. Wilson has caught a TD pass and run for five, including plays where he ran over people, spun around them and just outran them. He has 257 rushing yards in four games and his 107 against Absegami was his first 100-yard game and the most by an Ocean City back since Liam Bergman gained 116 against Pleasantville in 2017.
Rhodes to Victory: Mike Rhodes, the 6-5 junior, had a pretty good night against Absegami. He made six tackles, including his first sack of the season; broke up three passes (he leads the team with five); forced a fumble; and recovered a fumble. He came within inches of recovering another fumble for a TD but the ball was ruled out of the end zone first. Rhodes is a three-sport athlete – he started 24 basketball games as a sophomore, leading the team in blocked shots and finishing second in rebounds. And he was the shot putter on the OCHS All-Decade (2000-19) Boys Track Team.
Defense: Also on Friday night, junior Brady Rauner had four solo tackles and sophomore Tom Schutta three. Will Drain and Mike Williscroft each had two tackles for losses. Drain leads the team with 6.5 this season and Williscroft is third with 4.5. All together, the Raiders have 40 tackles for losses totaling 156 yards. And senior Brian Beckmann picked off his fourth pass of the season. The Raiders unanswered scoring streak ended at 163 points when Absegami’s Ray Weed scored on a broken play.
Scoring Leaders: Schneider and Wilson are tied for fifth in scoring among players at CAL schools; Repetti is second among CAL quarterbacks in TD passes; Schneider leads in TD receptions; sophomore Brendan McGonigle leads in extra points and is second in total kicking points; and OCHS leads in defensive TDs, most points scored and fewest points allowed per game. See all the CAL scoring leaders here.
Early Scores: Ocean City has outscored its first four opponents, 91-0, in the first quarter of games and 154-0 in the first half. The Raiders had scored a touchdown in the first 100 seconds of each of the first three games. They had to wait 190 seconds to score against Absegami.
Kevin Smith says: “I was really happy with how well we played on both lines against Absegami. We were physical up front and did a good job running the ball and stopping the run. That’s a good recipe for success.”
LINKS: The complete Ocean City-Absegami stats are here. Complete four-game OCHS stat totals are here. The video of the game is here. Standings in selected WJFL divisions is here. Links to online coverage of this weekend’s games are here.