Raiders hold off Rebels' late rally

Raiders hold off Rebels' late rally

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Raiders hold off Rebels' late rally

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TOMS RIVER

The hard work has finally paid off for Toms River East, which defeated Howell 28-21 Friday night to notch its first win of the season.

“Our kids are fighters and we told them to keep plugging away,” East coach Charles Diskin said. “They never give up and that was showed tonight when things got tough. I’m proud of the way that they fought all night. This is something that will give us confidence as we move forward.”

The win did not come easy for the Raiders, who had to hold off a late rally by the Rebels. After cutting the deficit to 21-14 early in the fourth quarter, Howell was driving, when junior quarterback/cornerback Jerry Caporale picked off a Connor McGlynn pass and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown to make the score 28-14 midway through the quarter.

“We missed a field goal right before that but he was able to pick us up with that interception,” Diskin said. “That was a huge play; it might have been the play of the game.”

In addition to his exploits on defense, Caporale rushed for 91 yards on 14 carries.

“He is a playmaker,” Diskin said. “As a quarterback, he is a runner and tries to make plays all of the time.”

The Raiders gained 343 yards on the ground.

“I thought our offensive line took over and did a great job coming off the ball all night,” Diskin said. “Our backs ran really hard, but our offensive line did a great job opening holes for them.”

The Raiders opened the scoring late in the first quarter on a 16-play, 77-yard scoring drive capped by senior running back Patrick Gallagher’s one-yard TD run. All of the yards gained during the drive came on the ground.

“We just came out here firing off the ball, going in we knew that we could beat them off the ball,” senior center Bobby Murawski said .”It’s been a tough couple of years and a tough start to the season, this win will turn our season around.”

Gallagher finished with 80 yards on 10 carries and three touchdowns.

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