Rumson-Fair Haven scored with 1:15 left in the game to break a tie and beat Woodrow Wilson, 30-22, and win the South Jersey Group 3 bowl game.
The Bulldogs created a large time of possession, with their last four drives eating up clock and keeping Woodrow Wilson’s offense off the field.
First Quarter: Woodrow Wilson’s first possession started on their 33 after Rumson-Fair Haven turned the ball over on downs and got to work quickly, as Nick Kargman found Naiem Simmons for 35 yards. After a R-FH penalty brought the ball to the 16, Kargman connected with Stanley King for a 14-yard score and a 6-0 lead. That lead did not last because Alex Maldjian went 53 yards up the middle for a touchdown to even the score.
Second Quarter: Kargman found Simmons again for a 34-yard pass and a 24-yard run by Muheem McCargo put the Tigers on the 5. But McCargo fumbled three plays later and Drew Frankel recovered for R-FH on the 9. The Bulldogs drove behind the running of Maldjian, but were forced to punt and Simmons returned it 59 yards, setting the Tigers up on the 19. They reached the 7, but ran out of time as the clock expired.
Third Quarter: Rumson-Fair Haven had good field position when Woodrow Wilson’s fourth down attempt fell short at their 44. Maldjian moved the chains and went in front when Collin Coles threw a 3-yard touchdown to Ian O’Connor in the right corner of the end zone on fourth down. It was Kargman-to-Simmons again on the following drive, the first time for 29 yards and a 32-yard score three plays later to knot the game again.
Fourth Quarter: Rumson-Fair Haven came back to score on a John Volker run of eight yards on a reverse to the left. Now it was time for Woodrow Wilson, who tied the score again when Kargman threw a 9-yard touchdown to King, making it 18-18 with 5:27 left. Coles completed a 28-yard pass to Patrick Jamin on third-and-eight and then hit Jackson McCarthy on the left sideline, where he avoided the defender and went went straight to the end zone for a 21-yard score. The Bulldogs converted their two-point try to make it 26-18 and it was the first time in the game a point(s)-after-touchdown was successful. Wilson had one last chance that ended with three seconds remaining.
Rumson-Fair Haven Summary: Maldjian was the workhorse with 40 carries for 204 yards (courtesy of NJ.com’s Joe Zedalis) and this is after a 50-carry game two weeks ago. It seemed every time they needed yards, he was there to get them with his physical, low-to-the ground style. Their three second half drives consumed 16:57 out of 24 minutes and their last drive of the first half ate up 5:24, bringing it to 22:21 of possession out of a possible 30:08. Their performance kept a potent Woodrow Wilson off the field and the line of Ryan McCann, Evan Davis, Tim Kelly, Ethan Ardolino, and Spencer Short, plus tight end O’Connor did a fabulous job.
Woodrow Wilson Summary: The Tigers offense was very good when they had the ball. While King made plays on the receiving end, Simmons was outstanding with four receptions of at least 29 yards totaling 130 yards and a punt return of 59 yards. Kargman had a good game passing, but the weapon that sometimes gets overlooked is McCargo, a tough runner with good body lean. While they didn’t have the ball as often as they would have liked, the missed opportunities in the first half hurt them: twice inside the 10 and coming away empty.