Colts Neck beats Marlboro for 3rd straight shutout

Colts Neck beats Marlboro for 3rd straight shutout


Colts Neck beats Marlboro for 3rd straight shutout



The pundits said graduation losses would catch up with Colts Neck after a nine-win season. But the September part of the Cougars’ schedule is complete, and senior linebacker Nick Volpe said it’s been business as usual so far.

“We lost a lot of guys. We have some big shoes to fill. But we have some players and young kids who have come up and are doing the job,” Volpe said Saturday after Colts Neck rolled to a 48-0 victory over Marlboro in a Shore Conference Class A North game.

Colts Neck (3-0, 1-0) still has its annual free-for-alls against divisional rivals Manalapan and Middletown South ahead on the schedule, but the appetizers have gone well: three games, three shutouts. Colts Neck has outscored its opponents 132-0 and thumped Marlboro (0-3, 0-2) despite several players out due to disciplinary reasons or injuries.

It was the first time Colts Neck has posted three straight shutouts in its 14-season history.

“Our defense is looking great. The offense is there too,” said Volpe, who as a tight end scored on a 21-pass from Christian Sanchez in the second quarter, then willed the defense to turning Marlboro away 4 yards from the end zone in the fourth quarter, a time when most of the starters had been pulled from the game by coach Greg LaCava.

Volpe and sophomore Nicholas Gargiulo combined to make three straight stops to force a turnover on downs.

“I didn’t want them to score,” Volpe said with pride.

LaCava said Volpe was still in the game to help steady the underclassmen.

“It’s his personality. If you know him, you love him. He is a definitely unique individual who’s a great role model for our young guys,” the coach said.

Colts Neck junior quarterback Christian Sanchez also ran for a touchdown and threw a second TD pass to Jake Mullaney and completed 10 of 11 passes overall for 123 yards. Anthony Gargiulo, the older brother of Nicholas, rushed for 136 yards and scored two touchdowns and reserve tailback Abdul Quddus broke free for a 65-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

Both of Sanchez’s touchdown passes took place during a 27-point second quarter. The Cougars scored on all five possessions in the first half.

Sanchez followed a block by Anthony Gargiulo to score on a 5-yard keeper that capped the opening drive. Gargiulo had carried the ball five times for 37 yards during the 10-play, 75-yard possession but was tripped up by defensive back Dustin Jensen on a first-and-goal from the 4, opening the door for Sanchez to make his successful run.

Abby Letson, a 125-pound senior and one of the few females who have suited up for Shore Conference varsity football teams, kicked the extra point and finished the day 5 of 6 on her kicks.

Colts Neck poured it on in the second quarter starting with Dan Calabro’s 36-yard scoring run on a reverse.

Marlboro played a competitive first quarter and clicked off three first downs on its first drive, with running back Mohammed Omar picking up key yards on the way to an 86-yard performance. But Omar was stopped on a fourth-and-9 run by linebacker Michael Ververka at the Colts Neck 23.

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