By Ryan Fennell
Red Bank – The Red Bank Regional Buccaneers (0-1) hit the road tonight to take on Wall Township (0-1) in Week 2 of the regular season and the Bucs’ first divisional game of the year.
After a crushing, 47-0, loss to Red Bank Catholic (1-0) to open the season last Saturday, the Bucs got back to work on Monday in preparation to take on a Wall team that finished last season atop the now defunct C-Central with an 8-2 overall record and was the two-seed in last year’s NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III playoffs.
However, Wall dropped its season opener, 21-6, last weekend to Jackson Liberty, which finished with a 4-6 record last year.
As Red Bank looks to rebound from a lackluster effort against the crosstown rival Caseys in week one, the Crimson Knights are surely just as hungry for a ‘W’, especially against a B-North opponent after opening the season with a loss against a Jackson Liberty team that has never made a playoff appearance.
“The lesson is we need to get back to some fundamentals like tackling, leverage, taking on blocks – things that I’m very disappointed we didn’t do well or, I should say, (RBC) did better,” Red Bank Regional head coach Nick Giglio said after last week’s loss. “I don’t know if we would’ve won that football game, but it shouldn’t have been 47-0 if we just did some fundamental things right.
“Those are the disappointing things,” Giglio added. “At least I believe those things are correctable.”
By halftime against the Caseys, Red Bank was down 21-0 in a half where the Bucs failed to register a first-down in six possessions until 50 seconds remained in the second quarter, coming on an encroachment penalty against RBC.
The Bucs totaled three first downs in the game, having picked up two on an 11-play drive late in the fourth quarter, but had nothing to show for it turning the ball over on downs on a running clock already down by 40.
The Bucs also committed five turnovers on the day, two via the interception and three on fumbles, with one fumble resulting in a safety on their first possession of the second half.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces on offense and defense, so there’s a learning curve and we need to be patient with them,” Giglio said. “But, they also have to have a little sense of urgency that they need to improve on things as well. We have some other guys on the team that are hungry, so it’ll create even more competition which will hopefully make our team better.”
Giglio is confident his team can rebound from the opening game loss and knew coming in that it was a tall order to face Red Bank Catholic to open the season.
“I don’t know how many people in the Shore Conference are jumping up and down saying I want to start the year against the preseason number-one team that also ended last year as the number-one,” he said. “We took that task. Obviously, we knew the task was going to be great. We didn’t back down from it, but I’m also disappointed on certain things that we did.
“I told them before the game, win or lose we’ve got to get back to work for week two,” Giglio added. “We weren’t getting a championship with a win and we weren’t handing in our uniforms with a loss.”