By Tim Kelly
The Ocean City Red Raiders football team has another tough test Friday night when they travel to Runnemede, Camden County, to take on Triton.
The Mustangs have an outstanding running game, which they unleashed last weekend in a 26-14 win at Cherry Hill West.
Triton gashed West for 290 yards on the ground, including 93 from Eric Staton, 86 from quarterback Geff Giancaterino and 70 from Davaun Payton.
“It all happens with the big hosses up front,” Triton coach Dom Tomeo told reporters, touting his offensive line. “They are the guys who make (a strong running game) possible.”
Ocean City’s defensive coordinator Matthews provided the formula for containing the explosive ’Stangs when he addressed the players.
“Be accountable for your actions and your play and do your job,” Matthews said. “If we do these things, all of us, coaches and players, we have a chance to do great things.”
The game, which kicks off at 7 p.m., is an intriguing matchup of division leaders in the West Jersey Football League. Triton stands atop the WJFL National at 3-0 (3-2 overall) while OC is 3-1 overall and at 3-0 in sole possession of first place in the Independence Division.
The Red Raiders are coming off a bye week. On the previous Friday night, St. Augustine handed Ocean City its only loss, a 38-6 setback at Carey Stadium. The game was closer than the score would imply.
The Raiders hurt the Hermits with their aerial attack, but could not cash in when they were on a short field.
“Missed opportunities,” Ocean City Head Coach Kevin Smith said. “That will be a teaching point going forward. We did some great things. We played hard, we didn’t back down despite being outsized and our effort and energy were excellent. But you can’t beat a great team like that if you give up big plays and don’t finish drives.”
The team reminded its fans about a “Head Over Boots” fundraiser on Saturday from 7-11 p.m. at the LaCosta Lounge in Sea Isle City. The event features a live band and country line dancing. Proceeds benefit both OCHS Football and the high school After Prom. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door.