Two games into the season, the Keansburg Titans have played like titans.
“In Remember the Titans, the coach says, ‘Titans were once known to be greater than the gods,’ ” senior quarterback Ryan Kurtz said after Keansburg pushed its record to 2-0 with a 48-35 nonconference win over Spotswood on Saturday.
Kurtz was indeed a titan. He rushed for 254 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. He completed 7 of 13 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. He ran for 174 first-half yards and two TDs on seven carries.
Kurtz, a 5-foot-10, 175-pounder, spent the day breaking tackles and dodging defenders.
“A lot of people feel he is more like a running back than a quarterback,” Keansburg coach Brian Kmak said. “We want the ball in his hands as much as possible. He took his lumps during the past two seasons (when Keansburg went 1-9 and 0-10).”
Kurtz credited the Titans’ turnaround to their strength and conditioning program led by Jason Wombough, an assistant coach.
“He developed a new weight training program,” Kurtz said. “We push right through people. We only have to worry about making plays. We focus more on the game than being tired.”
Kurtz and his buddies left the field to a standing ovation from their fans after the game. One woman bellowed, “We love you, Titans.”
“It’s awesome,” Kurtz said. “It gives me chills. We are so used to losing. We’re starting to win. Everyone in town knows what’s coming. This has been a long time coming. We’re pushing and working our hardest.
“We spent the last two years trying to perfect our craft. Now, we’re starting to get it together. It’s been a long time coming.”
The Titans sped to a 27-6 halftime lead. Kurtz opened the scoring with a 69-yard touchdown run and tossed a 21-yarder to senior wide receiver Chris Figaro for another first-quarter score.
Kurtz scored on a 1-yard smash up the middle and senior wide receiver Keith Malave scored on a 5-yard reverse to the left in the second quarter. Kurtz made it 39-20 with 9:03 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run and dashed 37 yards for a touchdown and a 46-27 lead with 5:21 left in the game.
“Our team is more athletic,” Kurtz said. “We get around the outside. Once we started stretching them (1-1 Spotswood), the holes opened up and we cut right through them.”
“Our record feels good,” Kmak said. “Our young kids have grown up a little bit. I feel good for our kids. They earned it. They work hard.”