Rumson-Fair Haven junior running back Charlie Volker nearly matched his outstanding performance from a week ago Saturday against Monsignor Donovan.
Volker rushed 31 times for 243 yards and four touchdowns as the No. 4 Bulldogs defeated the host Griffins, 42-7, in a nondivisional game.
Rumson improved to 6-0 overall, the third straight season the Bulldogs have opened with six wins.
“We’re setting a tone and letting other teams know what we’re capable of and establishing a good year,” Volker said.
Volker established a tone as well against Monsignor Donovan (3-3). One week after rushing for 246 yards and three touchdowns against Raritan, Volker gained 179 yards and scored two touchdowns in the first half while also topping 1,000 yards for the season. By the end of the third quarter, Volker added two more touchdowns to finish his day.
“Their D-line was getting pushed around by our big O-line and the holes opened up pretty much every single time I ran the ball,” Volker said.
Volker’s first carry of the game went for 27 yards to the Griffins’ 8, setting up quarterback Chase Caruso’s 1-yard sneak for a touchdown to give Rumson a 7-0 lead. Volker then ran six times for 44 yards on a 57-yard drive, capping it with a 7-yard score for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Monsignor Donovan pulled to within 14-7 midway through the second quarter on quarterback Vinny Grasso’s 57-yard touchdown run. One play earlier, Grasso ran for 2 yards for a first down on fourth-and-2 from the Griffins’ 45.
Rumson answered with a 12-play, 71-yard drive that took over six minutes and included an even bigger fourth-down conversion. Facing fourth-and-3 from the Griffins’ 24, Volker ran a counter all the way to the end zone for a touchdown with just 15 seconds left before halftime to give the Bulldogs a 21-7 lead.
“That was definitely the game-changer,” Volker said. “If we didn’t get the fourth (down) there it could have turned out a lot differently.”
“We had run counter-trey left and our back, we told him to be patient,” Rumson-FH coach Bryan Batchler said. “He’s so fast, I said you have to wait for the pulling tackle. They were trying to take away our inside stuff, so we were coming back with the counter.”
Rumson pulled away with two more scores in the third quarter. Volker finished a 42-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run, and followed a Bulldogs fumble recovery with three carries for 21 yards, toppling into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown and a 35-7 lead.
On defense, Rumson held a Griffins offense that averaged 31 points per game to one touchdown and 114 total yards. The Bulldogs have now allowed just 33 points all season.
“Our No. 1 tackler, (linebacker) Thomas Martello, did not play in this football game,” Batchler said. “He got a broken hand last week against Raritan, so we took J.T. Jennings and put him back at (middle linebacker). It was just a matter of the kids being disciplined. The coaches put together a great plan, and the kids listened and executed it.”