By TOM WILLIAMS
Ocean City’s four-game streak of dominance ended Friday against a team that might actually be the best team in all of South Jersey.
177 Yards: St. Augustine junior Carnell Davis played against Ocean City the last two years at Absegami but he is a much better player now. One of the best and most highly-recruited wide receivers in the state, Davis caught seven passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns against the Raiders. And sophomore running back Kanye Udoh, a transfer from St. Joseph, gained 122 yards on 20 carries. These two guys did not play in The Prep’s first four games and they make them a very different team. St. Augustine plays winless Rancocas Valley on Friday followed by Holy Spirit, Cherokee and then No. 1 ranked Williamstown on Nov. 1. By the way, Davis’ 177 receiving yards was the most against the Raiders since Mainland’s Justin Bishop had 208 in 2015.
Perfect Record: In the more than 100 years of football at Ocean City High School only one coach is perfect against the Raiders in eight games – Pete Lancetta, now the head coach at St. Augustine Prep. Lancetta is 2-0 against OCHS at St. Augustine and was 6-0 while coaching at Hammonton. He is 229-77-2 over his 29-year career. Overall, the Raiders have played The Prep six times and lost all six. The 2020-21 football schedules in the West Jersey Football League will be announced around January 1st and it is probably unlikely that the two schools will be playing the next two years. But you never know.
NJSIAA Group 4: As expected, Ocean City jumped up three spots to No. 14 in South-Central Group 4 despite the loss. OCHS benefited from the special NJSIAA Non-Public Multiplier that awards public schools extra rating points for playing certain non-pubic teams. If the playoffs started this week, the Raiders would be at No. 3-rated Jackson Memorial (3-2) in Group 4. In other area Group 4 match-ups (if the action started this week) No. 9 Mainland would be at Long Branch, No. 5 Hammonton would host Middletown South and No. 4 Millville would host Colts Neck. Two-time defending champion Shawnee (5-0) remains No. 1 right now in South Group 4.
Non-Public 4: St. Augustine also moved up in the NJSIAA United Power Ratings in its group by beating a Group 4 team with four wins. The Prep is now No. 6 in Non-Public 4 and, if the playoffs started this week, would host Paul VI in the first round. It would be an interesting pairing since Paul VI is coached by former St. Augustine coach Dennis Scudari, Sr.
Ranked. Ocean City fell out of the South Jersey rankings after two straight weeks in the Online 25. It was the first time in those ratings since 2001. The Online 25 includes every team that could play in NJSIAA South Jersey playoffs, including some schools generally considered Central Jersey schools. St. Augustine, despite its 2-3 record, is ranked No. 4. See where every team stands here.
Big Foot: Brendan McGonigle got his first chance to kick a field goal and he converted easily from 24 yards. McGonigle leads all CAL kickers with 21 extra points in 22 attempts. His field goal allowed OCHS to continue its scoring streak. The Raiders have now played 34 straight games without being shut out. From November of 1993 until September of 2004 Ocean City played 110 straight games without being shut out, believed to be a South Jersey record.
No. 8 Jake: Junior Jake Schneider increased his career receiving yardage to 798 yards on Friday, moving past Chris Harris (777) into No. 8 all-time at OCHS. Next, at No. 7, is former teammate Brandon Lashley with 837 yards.
Hands Beckmann: Senior Brian Beckmann has shown all season that he has two of the best hands in the area. Many of his five catches this season, including a slant on Friday, have made use of his great hands. Not to mention his four interceptions. Against The Prep, Beckmann also had nine tackles, including six solos. But his greatest play Friday was probably in the end zone in the middle of the second quarter when he was ruled out of bounds on another terrific catch. Videos from different angles seem to show that he got his foot down and it should have been a game-tying touchdown.
Defense: Brad Jamison was involved in 10 tackles, including three solos, and Jake Inserra had eight with two solos. Jaden Tocci-Rogers recorded four solo tackles. And Joe Repetti made one of the game’s best solo tackles. After punting late in the first half, Repetti was the last man to beat for St. Augustine’s Nasir Hill. Repetti nailed him, knocking the ball free and Lou Williams recovered for the Raiders.
Scoring Leaders: Schneider and Wilson are tied for sixth in scoring among players at CAL schools; Repetti is second among CAL quarterbacks in TD passes; Schneider shares the lead in TD receptions; McGonigle leads in extra points and is second in total kicking points; and OCHS leads in defensive TDs, is second in most points scored per game and tied for fewest points allowed per game. See all the CAL scoring leaders here.
The Raikes Factor: Isaiah Raikes scored the 13th touchdown of his career against the Raiders, a two-yard run in the final minute of the first half. Raikes, who has been recruited as a defensive tackle by Texas A&M, is 6-foot-1, 321 pounds. He also was involved in six tackles, including a sack. And it was frequently Raikes who was chasing Repetti when the OCHS quarterback rolled out, forcing him to throw earlier than he would have liked.
Will Morris: Not only is Will one of the area’s top stadium announcers but he also compiles St. Augustine’s stats as the game progresses and still has time to come up with a sports trivia question each game. Last Friday’s question – “Name the only four major league baseball players since the end of World War II to record 20 doubles, 20 triples and 20 home runs in the same season.” Without using Google, do you know the answer?
Kevin Smith says: “I thought we played well up front. I was happy with our line and the fact that we did a good job in the run game. Unfortunately, we didn’t have an answer for the speed they added. St. Augustine was a different team with their new players than the team we’d seen on video.”
LINKS: The complete Ocean City-St. Augustine stats are here. Complete five-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.