Charlie Volker ducked toward the line of scrimmage on his first carry of the second half Friday night, peeked to his left and thought, “Why not?”
After cutting inside with a fair amount of success in the first half, Volker cut toward the sideline and had the next 65 yards all to himself, culminating in the second of his three touchdowns on the night and helping to propel No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven to a 28-6 Class A Central victory over Raritan.
“The first few times I looked outside in the first half I thought about it, but was hesitant,” the Rumson junior said. “But we had the tight end on the left side, and it just opened up. At that point, it’s not football anymore. It’s just sprinting.”
Volker’s run — and a subsequent 2-point conversion toss from Chase Caruso to Dylan Zohn — gave Rumson (5-0, 3-0) a 14-0 lead. After Raritan (1-5, 1-3) went three-and-out, Volker offered an instant replay of his long touchdown, turning the same play into a 63-yard score with 8:31 left in the third quarter. Connor Kelly kicked the extra point for a 21-0 advantage.
Volker finished his night with 30 carries for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Rumson had 352 yards of total offense. Jared Collins led Raritan with 107 yards on seven carries.
“Charlie Volker is a special player,” Rumson coach Bryan Batchler said.
Said Volker: “The line and my fullback (Zohn) opened some big holes tonight. It’s exciting to see those kind of holes open up.”
The Bulldogs grabbed a 6-0 lead on their first possession of the game, moving 49 yards in five plays. Volker finished off the drive with a 3-yard run with 7:34 to play in the first quarter.
“I felt like we ran the ball well all night, even in the first half,” Batchler said. “Raritan is tough up front and physical, but our offensive line did a good job. Our coaches got together and felt we could run power, so we stuck with it.”
Volker had 89 yards on 17 tries in the first half before breaking loose after intermission.
“We thought it would be a tough game coming in, and it was,” Volker said. “With Raritan, you know it’s going to be a dogfight.”
Caruso supplied the finishing touch on the victory when he found wideout Melquan Reevey for an 80-yard touchdown pass with 5:30 left in the game, five plays after the Bulldogs’ defense stopped Raritan on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
The Rockets got on the board with 26 seconds left when quarterback Riley Sullivan found Colby Jones with a 59-yard touchdown pass.
“We’re glad (to be 5-0),” Batchler said. “But we’re not satisfied. There are a lot of tough teams coming up on our schedule, and we have to get better every week.”