While there are admittedly not as many Thanksgiving Day football games as there used to be, it is always good to see new rivalries pop up in recent years.
Such is the case when Shore Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven played for the first time on Thanksgiving Day in 2014, with the Blue Devils claiming all three victories in the series so far. The two teams will square off for a fourth straight year on Thanksgiving Day at Borden Stadium in Rumson at 10 am.
Shore enters the latest matchup 4-5 overall and 3-2 in B Central. They suffered a 28-6 loss in the first round of the NJSIAA playoffs against fourth-seeded Middlesex. Rumson enters 8-1 overall and 5-1 in A Central, and seeking their fifth consecutive Central Group III state championship.
The Blue Devils are led by senior signal caller Ryan Morris, who has thrown for 369 yards and four touchdowns this season to four different receivers (Terry Carlstrom, Michael Deusch, Gil Goldsmith, and Matt O’Donnell). Junior running back Jack McCrae has amassed 526 yards and five touchdowns on the ground on 82 carries. Goldsmith is second on the team with 217 yards and John Salerno has four rushing touchdowns. Tom Moloney has a punt return touchdown this season, coming on Sept. 29 against Bishop George Ahr.
Senior running back Peter Lucas leads the offensive attack for Rumson, rushing for 1,953 yards and 27 touchdowns on 180 carries. Junior fullback Alex Maldjian has nine scored and 555 yards on 63 carries. Senior quarterback Daniel Harby has thrown for 857 yards and six touchdowns this season, while running for 101 yards and five scores. Junior Ian O’Connor leads the receiving corps for Rumson, hauling in 27 passes for 394 yards and three touchdowns.
Junior Keegan Woods leads the Rumson defense with 117 tackles and four sacks, two fumbles caused and a fumble recovery. Senior Elijah McAllister leads the team with seven sacks and also has 52 tackles and a fumble caused. Junior Christian Lanzalotto leads the team with two interceptions and second with 90 tackles and junior Henry Sullivan is second on the team with five sacks.
Shore will look to spoil the party for Rumson on their home turf, end their season on a high note and improve to 4-0 in the series, while Rumson will be looking to put together a strong all-around performance in preparation for the Central Group III championship.