Marlboro coach Derek Sininsky sensed something diffferent with his team after the pregame warmups concluded this past Friday night at Howell.
“They looked at me and said, ‘We can beat these guys,’ ” Sininsky said. “I said, ‘Let’s go. Stop talking about it and let’s do it.’ “
The Mustangs went out and did just that as senior running back Carl Morehead scored the game-winning touchdown in the third quarter and Marlboro recorded a 16-8 win.
The win snapped a 13-game losing streak, dating back to a 13-0 win over Perth Amboy on Nov. 6, 2010. It was also the Mustangs’ first win over Howell since a 29-15 win in 2004. Marlboro had lost five straight to Howell since 2004 by a combined score 155-24. It was also the Mustangs’ first win in a divisional game since a 14-8 win over Toms River North on Sept. 10, 2005.
Sininsky said he told his players all last week in practice they could beat Howell even though he knew nobody around the Shore Conference believed his players could win.
“I said to them (his players) when we walked off their field (Howell’s) last year (a 34-12 loss), ‘That in one year, you will beat these guys in their house,’ ” said Sininsky, who is in his fifth season at Marlboro. “I literally believed it.”
Marlboro did it by controlling the clock with a power running game. Lining up center, instead of using the spread formation it used all preseason and in the 34-26 loss to J.P. Stevens in the opener, the Mustangs, using several running backs, ran for approximately 180 yards. Sophomore Dewan McCallister ran for around 80 yards and senior quarterback Parker Hoch had 72 yards and threw a 9-yard TD pass to Dustin Jensen.
Howell, which played for a second straight week without senior quarterback John Quinlan (knee injury) threatened late. The Rebels moved from their own 20 inside the Marlboro 20 in the final seconds.
It remains to be seen what the win will do for a Marlboro program that has had four winless seasons since 2006 and has gone just 6-57 since a 47-41 win over Steinert in a 2005 NJSIAA consolation game. The Howell win was just Marlboro’s third over a Shore Conference school in the last six-plus seasons, and one of those wins over a Shore Conference team was over Lakewood in a 2008 consolation game.
“This is the first big win since I’ve been here,” said Sininsky, who previously was the head coach for four seasons at Raritan. “We always had one at Raritan. We always upset somebody. We are a Group V school with a Group I or Group II roster when it comes to numbers.”
Wall head coach Nick Gregorio feels his team’s dramatic 34-28 double overtime win over Red Bank Regional this past Friday night can serve as a building block for his program.
Gregorio is in his first season at Wall. He has replaced Chris Barnes, who retired from coaching after last season. Barnes had a highly successful 12-year tenure at Wall, including last season when the Crimson Knights went 8-2 and won the now defunct Class C Central divisional championship.
But Wall suffered massive graduation losses after last season. Gregorio, who was the head coach at A.L. Johnson in Clark in 2009 and 2010, was an assistant coach at Kean University last season.
“The great thing is we’re moving forward,” Gregorio said. “We’ve had two pretty good opponents. We’ve had some ups and downs, faced some adversity and fought our way through it. We have a confident, hard-working group.
“I tell the guys, ‘Tradition never graduates.’ We have a new crew of guys ready to step up and carry the Wall tradition.”
Lakewood coach L.J. Clark said it was his decision not to play standout senior quarterback/defensive back Tyrice Beverette on Saturday against Monsignor Donovan. The Piners were defeated, 18-14.
Clark said Beverette had a severe case of dehydration in the Piners’ 23-13 win over Freehold in the opener and that Beverette did not practice all last week.
“There’s nothing wrong. He’s fine,” Clark said. “My main goal is his safety at all times. His body needed a rest. He’s got a big, bright future and I don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize it.”
Clark said on Sunday morning Beverette’s status for Friday night’s game at Pinelands was “up in the air” and that Beverette will be “evaluated” during the week.
Red Bank Catholic’s Rutgers University-bound senior defensive tackle Josh Klecko is day-to-day after he had to leave the Caseys’ 10-0 win over Manasquan with a leg injury, Red Bank Catholic coach Jim Portela said Sunday morning.
News & notes
* Ocean, which forfeited its scheduled game against Neptune this past Saturday because of an outbreak of a skin infection, was cleared to return to practice on Monday, Ocean athletic director Rusty Todd said Sunday morning.
* Point Pleasant Beach, which recorded an ultra-impressive 41-8 win at Dunellen this past Friday night, is 2-0 for the first time since 2001.
The Garnet Gulls went 5-5 that season in current Red Bank coach Nick Giglio’s first season as Point Beach’s head coach and qualified for the NJSIAA playoffs. That was Point Beach’s last playoff berth before it went 8-3 and made the playoff last season in current coach John Wagner’s first season at Point Beach..
* Manalapan is 2-0 for the first time since 2002, when it started 4-0.
* Keansburg is 2-0 for the first time since 2007, when it started 3-0 on its way to a 10-2 season. The Titans’ only two losses in 2007 were to Asbury Park, including one in the Central Group I championship game.
* Colts Neck is 2-0 for the first time since 2006.
* Jackson Liberty is 2-0 for the first time in its six-year history. The Lions’ 7-0 win over Central was their first over a Shore Conference school and second shutout in their history. The other shutout was 29-0 at Wildwood on Sept. 14, 2007, the second varsity game in Jackson Liberty’s history.
* Manasquan is 0-2 for the first time since 1988. The Warriors finished 3-6 that season. That was the late Vic Kubu’s fourth season as the Warriors’ head coach. Manasquan’s last losing season was in 2004, when it went 4-6.