High School Football:
Sunday, December 6, 1998
By Gary Steiner
The Ocean City Red Raiders made their presence known early by scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter of the Group 3 championship game, enabling them to go on to a 34-18 defeat of first-seeded Toms River South. The Red Raiders finished the season 11-1, previously capturing the Cape-Atlantic Division A title.
Ocean City scored first at the 10:05 mark with a 66-yard drive that ended in a 12-yard touchdown run by Jared Toscano. The point after attempt was blocked. Austin Martin scored the second touchdown on a 3-yard run at the 6:27 mark, which had been set up by his 52-yard run down to the 8-yard line. A pass to Matt Chila for the 2-point conversion made the score 14-0. The third touchdown was scored on a 13-yard pass from Al Genz to Ray Rogers with 1:15 left in the quarter. A pass to Adam Martin added two more to make it 22-0
Things settled down offensively in the 2nd quarter, as neither team was able to score. The Red Raiders had a 1st and goal at the Indians' 9-yard line with 3:20 left in the half, but lost the ball on a fumble recovered by Jeff Scoras. Three plays later, Ray Rogers intercepted a pass to get the ball back at the Toms River South 44-yard line. Four plays after that, Dave Grosiak intercepted a pass to get the ball back for the Indians.
In the 3rd quarter, Toms River South got on the board with a 65-yard drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Bill Rankin to Torry Morris at the 9:01 mark. The 2-point attempt failed. The Indians got the ball back when Morris recovered a fumble on the first play of Ocean City's next drive, giving them the ball on their own 48-yard line. The Indians drove down and scored when Brett Hardia caught a 20-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point attempt again failed, leaving the score at 22-12 with 5:54 left in the quarter. The Red Raiders responded with a 68-yard touchdown drive, scoring on an Austin Martin 3-yard run. A pass for the 2-point conversion was incomplete, leaving the score 28-12 with 2:42 left in the quarter. The Indians next drive was stalled by two key sacks from Danny Stillwell.
Ocean City started out the 4th quarter with a drive highlighted by a 63-yard run from Austin Martin, which led to a 5-yard run from Martin for his third touchdown of the game. The point after kick was blocked, leaving the score 34-12 with 7:29 left in the game. Toms River South was able to score once more with 0:17 left, but it was too little too late as the Red Raiders took home the trophy with their 34-18 win.
Photos by Art Redd
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