Ocean City’s football team jumped out to an early lead but lost its first game of the season, dropping a 49-22 decision Friday night to visiting North Jersey powerhouse DePaul Catholic at Carey Stadium.
The Red Raiders (6-1) arranged to have DePaul (3-2) as a last-minute opponent after Camden High School decided not to travel to Ocean City for the West Jersey Football League postseason Pod B final because of COVID-19 concerns.
“Lost to a great program tonight!” the football team tweeted in tribute to DePaul. “Appreciate you coming to the shore, it was awesome to compete with a team on your level! Extremely proud of our kids for accepting the challenge and playing their hearts out! Champions don’t back down from a challenge.”
Red Raider senior wide receiver Jake Schneider, who is the only player in Ocean City’s football history to catch more than 100 career passes, had seven receptions for 45 yards against DePaul. He now has a total of 118 career catches, setting a new record for a Cape-Atlantic League player, according to Ocean City’s football program.
Ocean City started strong in the first quarter by grabbing a 9-0 lead. The Red Raiders scored first on a safety off a sack by senior linebacker Brad Jamison.
Jake Inserra got the Red Raiders in the end zone in the first quarter on a 1-yard rushing touchdown, followed by kicker Brendan McGonigle’s extra point.
The Spartans answered in the first quarter with a 55-yard touchdown pass, followed by the extra point.
Ocean City senior quarterback Joe Repetti put the Red Raiders back on top in the second quarter with a 2-yard TD run. McGonigle booted the extra point for a 16-7 lead.
DePaul came roaring back in the second quarter with a 1-yard rushing TD and a 10-yard pass to grab a 21-16 lead at halftime.
Turnovers proved costly for Ocean City in the second half, helping the Spartans to rack up 28 points in the third quarter to build an insurmountable 49-16 cushion.
The Red Raiders closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard TD pass from sophomore quarterback Riley Gunnels to Jamison, who plays tight end on offense.
Ocean City will close out its season 10 a.m. Thursday by traveling to Pleasantville for the annual Thanksgiving game.