QBs Caruso, Dunphy team up to lead Rumson-FH

QBs Caruso, Dunphy team up to lead Rumson-FH


QBs Caruso, Dunphy team up to lead Rumson-FH



Rumson-Fair Haven remained undefeated and won the “Battle of Ridge Road” behind a stifling defense that held Red Bank scoreless and without a first down until late in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs, No. 5 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10, improved to 4-0 overall by beating the Bucs, 27-0, in a nonconference game.

It didn’t take long for the Rumson defense to make an impact in this game. Red Bank received the opening kickoff and two plays later faced third-and-3 at its 27. On the ensuing play, the Bulldogs’ defense got penetration into the backfield and forced a fumble that senior defensive back Chris Hubler scooped up and took into the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

“That was a big play to start the game,” Rumson coach Bryan Batchler said. “It’s a play that gave us a spark against a team that always plays hard and has great athletes.”

The Bucs made the Bulldogs earn this win by playing some tough defense of their own. Rumson running back Charlie Volker came into the game as the leading rusher in the Shore Conference, but was held to just 42 yards on 11 carries in the first half.

That meant Rumson would have to make something happen offensively through the air. And that is what the Bulldogs did to take control of the game.

“We are fortunate to have two excellent senior quarterbacks that can both make plays in the passing game,” said Batchler. “We give (Brian) Dunphy two series, then give (Chase) Caruso two and mix it up. Tonight our offensive line did a great job and we connected on some big pass plays.”

The first big play came on a deep throw down the seam by Dunphy that Melquan Reevey hauled in for a 54-yard gain to the Red Bank 6. The Bucs kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone, but Jake D’Amelio kicked a 20-yard field goal to make it 10-0 early in the second quarter.

The next time Rumson got the ball, it was Caruso’s turn at the helm. On a first-and-10 from the Red Bank 37, Caruso dropped back to pass and pump-faked, then let it fly down the left sideline to a wide-open Sam Shaud for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead.

Caruso would toss another 37-yard score on the next series. This time he threw deep down the right side to Reevey, who came back towards the ball and made a terrific grab before fighting his way into the end zone.

With a 24-0 lead going into the second half, Rumson rode its defense in the second half and Volker picked up another 64 yards on the ground to finish with 106 rushing yards. Rumson’s Kevin Clayton had three sacks for the game as the Bulldogs held Red Bank to two first downs and just 44 yards of offense.

“Our coaching staff does a great job preparing this team every week,” Batchler said. “Red Bank is a strong, well-coached team that forces you to play hard. Our guys executed the game plan well tonight.”

D’Amelio added a 33-yard field goal for the final points late in the fourth quarter. Red Bank’s Xavier Chestnut ran for 31 yards on 7 carries to lead the Bucs.


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