By Brian Deakyne
TINTON FALLS — Last week, it took everything Red Bank Catholic had to slide past a tough Colts Neck team.
The Caseys’, behind a prolific rushing attack, had no intentions of keeping Saturday’s class B-North match-up with Monmouth Regional (0-6) close, powering past the Falcons, 47-6, at Monmouth Regional high school, clinching a share of the B-North title.
Red Bank Catholic (6-0) running back John DiStefano lead the way early, carrying the ball eight times for 76 yards and a touchdown, as the Caseys’ were able to jump out to an early lead and continue to tack on points.
“It’s real nice,” DiStefano said of the win, “We knew we couldn’t take this team lightly, we took Long Branch lightly and look what they did to us. We came out trying real hard.”
After jumping on the board less than three minutes into the game on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, DiStefano capped off a quick 77-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. DiStefano had impressive runs of 17, 18, and 12 yards to set up the touchdown drive.
“Outsides were working and our blocking was real good. [Fullback] Chris Donald was real good, I followed him the whole time and he was just leading it.”
DiStefano didn’t play much after the first quarter with Red Bank Catholic taking a comfortable 41-0 lead into halftime.
Caseys’ quarterback Ryan Spahr was 4-5 passing for 53 yards and a touchdown. He hooked up with wide-out Doug Whitlock for a 30-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter.
“It was good to come out and play the way that we’re capable of playing,” Red Bank Catholic head coach Jim Portela said, “We know that Monmouth is a good team that is going to keep improving and is young, so we knew we would have a chance to come out and have a good day and our kids did. I was proud that we kept our intensity and focus today.”
Later on, James Taylor took a reverse 40-yards for another score on Red Bank Catholic’s first play of their drive. Spahr tossed the ball to DiStefano, who pitched the ball to Taylor, as he was untouched down the sideline for the score.
Halfback Larry Redaelli had an impressive game on the ground as well, carrying the ball eight times for 48 yards and a touchdown. Redaelli added a four-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.
Taylor added a defensive touchdown to his outstanding day, returning an interception in the second quarter 33 yards for the score, giving the Caseys’ their 41-0 halftime lead.
The Caseys’ totaled 276 yards on the ground with four touchdowns, proving to be one of the toughest rushing attacks in the Shore Conference.
“It’s good we like to run the ball, but we still have some things to work on, execution-wise,” Portela said, “We’re happy with where we are at.”
Monmouth Regional added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Jeff Farrah connected with tight end Sheldon McCue for a 19-yard score. Farrah was 8-18 passing for 111 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
McCue caught two passes for 29 yards, including the touchdown.
Red Bank Catholic has two regular season games remaining in an effort to remain unbeaten and clinch the sole B-North title.
“It’s very important not to look past those teams and at the playoffs,” DiStefano said, “We need to beat those teams and we need to remain focused.”