Jake D’Amelio came through for Rumson-Fair Haven.
The junior kicked a 41-yard field goal late in the first half, starting the Bulldogs past Red Bank, 9-3, in nondivisional action at Count Basie Field on Friday night.
D’Amelio, who shanked a punt earlier in the first half, connected with three seconds left, staking the Bulldogs (4-0) to a 3-0 lead.
“It felt good off my foot,” he said. “I kept my head down and it (the ball) went right in. I was not nervous. I had confidence in myself.”
D’Amelio shanked a punt 10 yards with 4:43 left in the first quarter.
“I had to bounce back for my team,” he said. “I needed to make the field goal for my team. We needed that field goal and it went in.”
With 2:51 to go before halftime, the Bulldogs took over at their 37-yard line after a punt by Red Bank (0-3), leading to the field goal.
Senior quarterback Danny Roberto opened the drive with a 23-yard completion over the middle to junior wide receiver Sam Shaud to the Red Bank 40. Roberto connected with senior running back Travis Clark for 8 yards to the 32 after an incompletion.
Clark was thrown for a 1-yard loss to the 33. Roberto found senior wide receiver John Ryan for a 10-yard gain and a first down on fourth and three to the 23. D’Amelio kicked his field goal after a 1-yard loss and two Roberto incompletions.
The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 9-0 on a 1-yard touchdown smash into the middle of the line by Roberto with 5:34 to go in the third quarter. D’Amelio’s extra-point attempt slammed off the right upright.
The touchdown capped a 9-play, 41-yard drive after a Red Bank punt. Clark opened with a 1-yard run and followed with a 9-yard burst to the 31. Roberto muscled for 2 yards to the 29 and Clark picked up a yard to the 28. Clark followed with runs of 3 and 4 yards to the 21.
Roberto tossed a 19-yard pass over the middle to senior tight end Henry Rosenberg to the Bucs’ 2 and Roberto scored on the next play.
With 3:37 to play in the game, Red Bank senior Ross Gisondi stripped the ball from Clark and blazed 40 yards to the Bulldogs’ 12, setting up a field goal. Senior Ishier Lawrence connected from 25 yards with 2:22 left to get the Bucs to within 9-3.
Chris Christopher: email@example.com; 732 643-4249