Sports Roundup

Barnegat Football Teams Makes State Playoffs; Southern, Pinelands Miss Out

Oct 31, 2018

Apparently, however the state football ratings system works, the Barnegat High School football team’s place in the state upcoming state playoffs remained unshaken. Heading into their contest with Toms River South on Oct. 26, coach Rob Davis’ Bengals were in the sixth position within NJSIAA South Jersey Group II. And even though they dropped a 13-7 contest in overtime, the Bengals were unmoved from that spot once the playoffs were seeded on Sunday.

West Deptford wasn’t maneuvered from its previous third spot, either, and that means the Bengals (6-2) will hit the road this Friday, Nov. 2, to meet the Eagles (6-2) at 7 p.m. A win for Barnegat would send it to the sectional semifinals to meet either second-seeded Camden or seventh-seeded Collingswood.

Against Toms River South last Friday, the Bengals struggled to move the ball on offense. For the game, they totaled just five first downs, and their only touchdown came with some six minutes left in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Brian Finucan found wide receiver Devyn DeFelipo for an 85-yard TD reception. Aaron Osborn booted the point-after kick to make it 7-0, but the Indians tied the game with under a minute to go in regulation.

In overtime, Toms River South scored on its opening possession as quarterback Sam Conover ran the ball in from a yard out, but the PAT was missed and the Bengals had a shot to win on their first possession of overtime. Instead, the Indians kept Barnegat out of the end zone for the win.

The Bengals managed 61 yards rushing, and Finucan completed five of 12 passes for 120 yards. Defensively, Mike Godfrey made 14 tackles to lead the Bengals, while Sean Madej and Brian Ewan each made 12 tackles.

While Barnegat maintained its playoff position in South Group II, Southern and Pinelands also maintained their positions outside the playoff scenarios in groups V and III, respectively. The Rams and Wildcats will play “regional crossover” games this week.

Scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the Rams were slated to host Atlantic City in what will be their season finale. Even though they will have the option to play an additional crossover game to complete a 10-game schedule, Athletic Director Chuck Donohue Jr. said Southern has no intention of doing so and will close its season – win or lose – with this week’s contest.

As for Pinelands, the Wildcats will travel to Lacey for a 1 p.m. on Saturday to fulfill their initially scheduled crossover game. Athletic Director Will Sundermann said the Wildcats also will not play a 10th game, and their season will conclude this week.

Should Barnegat lose its first-round playoff game Friday, Athletic Director John Germano said the Bengals are planning to play a 10th game. However, it’s uncertain who the opponent might be, since the NJSIAA is responsible for scheduling crossovers.

Southern Girls’ Team,
Barnegat’s Sarno Fare Well

On the heels of its Ocean County championship, the Southern Regional girls cross-country team took on the entire Shore Conference on Oct. 25. But while the Rams didn’t come away with the team title, their runners fared well amid a deep and talented field.

Taking the sixth position as a team with 230 points, the Rams were led by senior Gianna Citarella, who crossed the finish line in 28th overall with a time of 19:20, while freshman Rachel Short wasn’t far behind, in 34th placing with a time of 19:28. Juniors Jaelyn D’Amelio (19:46) and Emily Furlong (19:50) finished in 49th and 51st at Holmdel Park, followed by classmate Alexa Mulch in 68th at 20:27.

Individually, Barnegat had several of its top runners competing in the Shore Conference meet, and freshman Lillian Sarno again made her impression felt, as she was the highest local female. Sarno cruised to a time of 19:18, good enough for 27th place. Meanwhile, Gareth Aguilar and Peter Dizon represented the Barnegat guys – Aguilar finishinh 66th overall in 17:00 and Dizon taking the 102nd spot in 17:42.

Southern Gymnasts Swipe
Seventh at Conference Meet

There’s no doubt the Southern gymnastics team was prepared for a grueling Shore Conference Championships on Oct. 27. Earlier in the week, the Rams registered their highest score of the season during their only regular-season loss, to powerful Brick Memorial.

Still, not only is the conference meet scored tougher, but the top teams from Monmouth County always seem to be far and away better than Ocean County’s best. The results on Saturday proved it, as St. John Vianney led the team scoring with 114.05, followed by Freehold Township in second with 113.6.

Southern ended up seventh with 101.67, while Middletown South and Marlboro outscored fifth-place Brick Memorial (108.82) with team totals of 109.85 and 109.7, respectively, and Howell finished sixth with 106.87.

On Oct. 22, the Rams lost, 109.525.-108.7, against the Mustangs to finish with an 11-1 record. Hailey Klimas led the way with an all-around score of 36.4, after she won the balance beam with a 9.375 and took second on the floor exercise with a 9.575. Additionally, Maria Mezzo and Ava Kelly tied for second on the vault with identical 9.3 scores. Mezzo also was first on the floor, with a 9.6. Kelly also swiped third on the uneven bars (8.7), beam (8.8) and floor (9.5).

Southern will compete in the NJSIAA South Jersey Championships this Saturday, Nov. 3, at Seneca High School.

David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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