RED BANK – Heading into an anticipated Week 7 matchup with non-divisional foe Manalapan, Red Bank Catholic found itself in a position it hadn’t been in for some time.
Suffering an upset the week prior to crosstown rival Red Bank Regional had seemingly chiseled away at the state championship stature of this club, and suddenly the program was at a point where it had to prove itself once more.
The largest statements are made under the brightest of lights, and stepping forward to make it on Friday night was Red Bank Catholic quarterback Eddie Hahn.
“Coming off that loss to RBR, we knew we had to prove ourselves against Manalapan,” Hahn said. “We needed to show the Shore that we’re here to stay, that we’re working hard, that one setback doesn’t define us, and that we’re going to keep winning games.”
The Caseys certainly did that with a 33-14 victory over the Braves, though it was a decision still in question late in the second quarter, as Red Bank Catholic found itself trailing 14-13 with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
However, a successful two-minute drill and a dominant second half showing led to a win that was due much in part to the efforts of Hahn.
“Last week I thought we answered pretty well,” said Hahn, who finished with 257 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-23 passing to earn Asbury Park Press Offensive Game Ball honors. “And we’re going to keep answering the challenge and continue to prove ourselves until we regain the respect we had.”
According to Hahn, the senior captain has learned a lot about his Red Bank Catholic club over the past two weeks, recognizing the differences between the 2014 state championship Caseys and this current edition … Though the pieces may still be in place to earn a similar finish.
“We have a lot of heart, and are able to overcome adversity,” the University of Connecticut commit said. “Last year’s team was very talented, but this year we’ve had to scratch and claw to win some games. We’re starting to get a better a feel for each other and what kind of team we have.”
“(The situation we’re in now) is sort of similar to last year when we lost to Jackson late in the year. Then we put together a nice three game stretch to win a state championship. Every game is a learning experience, and it’ll take all 57 of us and our coaches to buy in and continue to work if we’re going to reach our goal.”
Hahn and the Caseys will have another tough task ahead in Week 8 when Ocean Township comes to Count Basie Field on Friday, Oct. 30 for a 7 p.m. meeting.