Despite scrappy individual efforts, never got past a talented Rumson-Fair Haven Regional defense, losing 30-0 and dropping to 1-2 on the season following a strong win last week against Matawan.
Under overcast skies in Little Silver, the Bulldogs of Rumson scored first with 1:57 left in the first quarter on a Connor Riley two-yard touchdown run.
Defensively, the Bulldogs never let up, sacking Bucs quarterback Terrance Scanlon eight times. Offensively, the Bulldogs were equally relentless, scoring in each quarter.
"Going against a great team, you have to play a perfect game," said Bucs head coach Nick Giglio. "Today, we were not able to do that."
The Bulldogs scored twice in the second quarter, once on a 15-yard touchdown pass, and again on a short touchdown run by Connor Riley with 3:20 left in the half. In the third quarter, with the Bucs down 21-0, Garrett Sickles and Dillon Stambaugh sacked Rumson quarterback Danny Roberto, and the Bucs seemed to rally. But with 3:52 left in the quarter, the Bulldogs struck back with a sack in the Bucs endzone for a safety.
Before the end of the third quarter, the Bucs again created an opportunity by forcing a Bulldog fumble, but were unable to capitalize. Rumson put seven more points on the board in the fourth quarter after getting the ball back when the Bucs were penalized for roughing the kicker. On a long pass play, Rumson was stopped just short of the goal by Bucs junior Tajhi Tomaino. But on the next play, a short run put Rumson in the end zone one more time.
The Bucs fought back on a strong drive, but with six seconds left, the Bulldogs picked off a pass in the end zone to end the game.
The Bucs' push for a winning season continues. "We will learn a lot from this game, and that will help us be the team that I know we have the potential to become," said Giglio.
The Bucs, who were without their leading rusher, Ajhan Wilson, due to a knee injury, meet the Holmdel Hornets next Saturday at 2:30 at Red Bank Regional.
Editor's Note: This story comes to you from Little Silver Mayor Robert C. Neff, Jr., who was previously a newspaper reporter for the Red Bank Register and Asbury Park Press. Neff's son Carey plays football for Red Bank.