RANDOLPH, NJ- On a night when Randolph high school honored their 2016 Sports Hall of Fame inductees with a pre-game ceremony, the football team treated the honorees to quite a show. A first half explosion of offense resulted in a 35-0 lead at halftime, as the Rams cruised to a 42-7 win over Columbia.
“I am proud to coach these guys that I have on this team, and I am proud of their effort tonight,” said Rams coach Tarig Holman. “The seniors have been giving us great leadership, and a lot of our young guys got a chance to play today.”
On an unusually warm but misty night, Randolph kept the ball mostly on the ground, picking up large chunks of yardage while moving up and down field to score almost at will.
Junior quarterback Justin Suarez got things started, running for a five yard TD on the Rams first possession.
As the defense locked down on Columbia’s offense, Randolph methodically moved down field again, ending their drive when Nick Jung took the ball in from 15 yards out for an early 14-0 lead.
Randolph piled it on in the second quarter, and even when Columbia appeared to have the Rams stopped, the home team found a way.
On a third and 20, Ryan Mulligan turned a short swing pass into a 30 yard TD. Eric Lubrano took a sweep around the left side for a 25 yard TD run, and Mulligan struck again with a 15 yard run, as Randolph took an insurmountable 35-0 lead into the halftime locker room.
The second half brought on rest for many of the starters, and allowed for a good chunk of playing time for backups. Columbia’s first possession resulted in jolt for their squad when they reeled off a 75 yard touchdown on a sprint around left end and down the sidelines, cutting the lead to 35-7.
The Rams quickly righted the ship however, getting stops on the next few drives, and picking up another score themselves. This time, senior quarterback Max Calligaro ran into the end zone from 2 yards out for a 42-7 lead that capped the scoring.
“A lot of guys got a chance to play today, and that is a good thing,” said Holman. “We have a lot of seniors who have not had a lot of playing time in our other games. They work just as hard as anyone else, and I am glad we were able to get them on the field tonight.”
Next up for the Rams is the annual rivalry battle with Roxbury, away on Friday October 28. The game has implications for the Rams getting into the post season, as a win should secure a berth in the playoffs.
“There is never a game with Randolph and Roxbury that doesn’t mean a lot,” said Holman. “We have to go out and have a good week of preparation, and then perform well in the game next week. They have a good coach and a good team over there.”
Before the game, the Hall of Fame inductees were introduced and walked out to mid field. Saturday night will be the official banquet and ceremony honoring the newest members of the Hall.
“Coach Loeffler was my track coach, he taught me a lot,” said Holman when asked about the Hall of Fame inductees. “He is that guy you can always go to for anything. Coach Back was his mentor, so the torch was passed on down from him. Ms. Clifton was one of my teachers, and she coached that awesome soccer team in the early 90’s. These people laid the foundation for Randolph’s athletic success and it is great to see them honored.”
The inductees are:
· Ted Loeffler (Track Coach 1969-2005)
· Ann Clifton (Girls Soccer Coach 1990-97)
· Tom Tinus (Midget Football Coach and Randolph Football Ambassador since Leisure Suits)
· Cliff Back (Phys. Ed. Supervisor 1971-88)
· Matt Nardolillo (Football, 1984-88)
· Stephanie Snyder (1995-99)