Secaucus tops Park Ridge to give coach Charlie Voorhees his 100th career win
Published: Saturday, September 08, 2012, 12:46 AM
SECAUCUS — After a 45-minute lightning delay, a slew of on-field injuries, and a barrage of yellow penalty flags thrown by referees, it finally happened.
Secaucus was back in the win column and their 14-year head coach had reached a career milestone that proved especially slippery last season. Secaucus (1-0) struck for three first-half touchdowns and opened the 2012 season last night at Kane Stadium with a 21-6 victory over Park Ridge (0-1) — the 100th career victory for the program’s head coach, Charlie Voorhees.
“Secaucus High School now has something that not every high school has, but in no way, shape or form is that my name,” Voorhees said graciously after the game. “So many people were involved. Now Secaucus High School can say that they have that (a 100-win coach).”
Voorhees, whose Patriots opened last season with five straight wins, saw his team close the year out on a five-game losing streak. Last night, his unit got off the schnide, while he was able to reach the milestone that evaded him for five straight weeks last year.
Both happened, but only after the game was stopped due to lightning at the end of the first quarter with the Patriots leading 14-0. When the second quarter picked up, play was plagued by an array of penalties on both teams, yet Voorhees’ group persevered.
“It all goes to coach Charlie Voorhees,” said junior defensive lineman Brandon Medina. “He’s a great coach, a great man. He inspired us … Hats off to him, he’s a great coach.”
Secaucus opened the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference contest with a eight-play, 51-yard touchdown drive that set the tone for the rest of the first half. Facing a fourth-and-9 on the Park Ridge 21-yard line, Secaucus quarterback Jason Mitchell (113 yards, two TD) hit Sean Roesing (88 rushing yards) on a halfback screen pass along the right sideline. Roesing dashed down the sideline and into the end zone just 1:05 into the game.
Roesing then spotted the home squad a 14-0 lead after picking off Park Ridge quarterback Christian Rizo at the Patriots’ 2-yard line. He zoomed down the sideline, only to run out of gas a yard short of pay dirt, but picked up that extra yard the very next play on a dive into the end zone.
While the offense guided Secaucus to an early lead, it was the team’s defense that made the cushion stand up. Medina and Co. opened the second quarter with a pair of fourth down stops on consecutive series — the latter coming on a fourth and goal at the Patriots’ own 7-yard line.
Senior linebacker Bob Jernstedt exploded off the edge, flushing Rizo out of the pocket and dragged him down to the turf. The Park Ridge signal caller released the ball before Jernstedt arrived, but the incomplete pass on fourth down proved critical, as the Patriots would produce their third touchdown on the following series.
Three plays later, Mitchell hooked up with senior Pat Collins on the night’s most exciting play. Collins ran down the middle of the field and hauled in a 90-yard touchdown reception to put the Patriots up 21-0 with 5:30 to play in the first half.
Yet, Secaucus had to finish the game without Collins’ services, as well as without Mitchell and running back Tim Charles, who all left the game with various injuries.
Park Ridge, which ran 62 offensive plays to Secaucus’ 46, took advantage and cut the Patriot lead to 21-6. Rizo guided the Bergen County squad on a 10-play, 53-yard scoring drive that finished with Jason Smith’s two-yard touchdown run.
But the Patriots’ defense delivered late, snuffing out another Park Ridge drive on a fourth down at the Secaucus 13-yard line.
“That to me looked like a Secaucus team,” Voorhees said. “To me, it’s just new guys, same philosophy in the program, and that’s ‘go with what we’ve got.'”
Park Ridge (0-1) 0 0 0 6 — 6 Secaucus (1-0) 14 7 0 0 — 21 S: Sean Roesing 21 pass (kick failed) S: Sean Roesing 1 run (Roesing run) S: Pat Collins 90 pass (Bob Wolf kick) P: Smith 2 run (kick failed)