Toms River South head coach Ron Signorino Jr. could not help but smile as the final seconds ran off the clock.
South beat Toms River East 38-6 in a Class A South game Friday night, snapping the Indians’ 18-game losing streak to sister schools Toms River East and Toms River North.
“It has not been a rivalry in the last 10 years,” Signorino said. “We have not done our part for the last 10 years, that’s a credit to East and North. Winning tonight is very important.”
The Indians’ last win over either of their sister schools was a 24-21 overtime victory over Toms River East on Nov. 1, 2002. Current Toms River East defensive coordinator Brian Wilkinson was Toms River South’s head coach that night and Signorino Jr. was the offensive coordinator at Toms River East that night.
“The seniors here are starting to carve out a nice legacy, beating Brick, beating Jackson,” Signorino said. “We have finally gotten the monkey off of our back when it comes to the Toms River schools.”
All week the players have been talking about breaking the streak, said junior linebacker Billy Kosh.
“It’s been all over, we wanted this to end,” said Kosh, who had two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery during the game. “We have come a long way this year, and this was another step. I’m so happy.”
Kosh said the team should be able to build off this win.
“We hope to keep this going,” Kosh said. “This is a game that we have been talking about for a while.”
Toms River South opened the scoring early in the first quarter when Otis Kearney scored on a 5-yard run to make the score 7-0. The drive was set up by a Kosh fumble recovery. The South offense pushed the lead to 14-0 when Kearney scored on a 14-yard run.
Sophomore quarterback Tymere Berry then capped the Indians’ first-quarter scoring with a 20-yard run to make it 21-0.
“We have accomplished so many goals with winning this one game,” Berry said. “Being .500 for the first time in a couple of years and beating for them for first time in 10 years is special. This win puts us in a great position.”
Berry is filling in for senior quarterback Trevor Signorino, who broke his shoulder earlier in the year.
“There are a lot of things that I can say about Tymere, but one thing that is special about him as a sophomore is that he is cool, calm and collected and never gets flustered,” Signorino Jr. said. “Physically he is gifted and we are not going look back.”
Berry finished the day with 166 total yards — 90 rushing and 76 passing — and two touchdowns.
“Looking back during the summer I was thinking more about next year,” Berry said. “When Trevor got hurt, I knew that I had to step up.”