RANDOLPH, NJ - After a tie left Randolph High School feeling unfulfilled in its last game, the Rams dominated Chatham, 35-6, in front of their home crowd on Friday night.
The Rams scored a touchdown on their first five possessions to jump out to an early 35-0 lead that they maintained until only minutes remained in the fourth quarter.
“We have to get back to the winning ways and in our division it’s very important,” Randolph head coach Joe Lusardi said. “There's no room for error so we have to really play hard.”
The Rams had no problem playing hard in the first half, taking the opening kickoff into Cougar territory and setting up a 5-yard touchdown run from junior James Bertelle.
Just a few plays later, the Rams set themselves up with even better field position after the defense intercepted Cougars’ sophomore quarterback Alex Sands. The turnover led to a touchdown the first of two scores from junior running back Jason Cohen.
“Field position is big, especially in the beginning of the game,” Lusardi said.
After a three-and-out by the Cougars, Randolph stuck to the ground game and found the endzone on Cohen’s second score.
The theme continued after Chatham punted on their next possession. This time the Rams went to Bertelle on a screen pass, who ran 41 yards for the score. Randolph added its final touchdown of the game with just over three minutes left in the first half when senior Sean Murphy caught a screen and took it 43 yards to the house.
“We haven't really executed in the last four games, but today we were able to execute more error-free,” Lusardi said.
Coach Lusardi gave his starters a rest in the second half and took the opportunity to try out some players that he believed deserved to play.
With the accelerated clock in play, both teams traded possessions until Chatham found the endzone with under two minutes left in the game. Sophomore quarterback Luke Sukiennik connected with Justin Hayes out of the backfield for the 55-yard score. Chatham was unsuccessful on its two-point conversion attempt.
Chatham is back in action next Friday when they visit West Morris for a 7 p.m. kick-off.