MORRISTOWN, NJ- In their season opener, the Randolph football team’s offense was a bit sluggish - with the exception of Jimmy Pepe, who fired on all cylinders with three TD’s to save the day for the Rams. In week two against Morristown, Justin Townsend ( 2 TD’s ) , Dylan Glincman ( 2 TD’s ), and Matt Kleiven ( 3 TD passes ) all joined Pepe at the touchdown party, as the offense unleashed big plays all day long in a 50-15 win over Morristown.
“We run a balance offense, and by that I don’t mean 50-50 run / pass, balance for us means getting the ball in playmakers hands,” said coach Will Nahan. “You saw a lot of different playmakers get the ball today, and when they all make plays, the defense has to decide who they are going to cover.”
Pepe made his presence felt right out of the gate when he grabbed an interception and returned it 65 yards for a TD. The score didn't count as the play was called back on a penalty, however on the Rams next possession Pepe made sure no one forgot about him by immediately hauling in a 25-yard pass from Kleiven and racing to the end zone for a 64-yard TD to give the Rams the lead.
After a Morristown three and out, the Rams quickly found themselves inside the 10 yard line thanks to a highlight reel run from Pepe. Kleiven then found Glincman along the back line of the end zone for an 8-yard TD. Kevin Jung caught the 2-point conversion pass for a 16-0 lead.
Townsend got into the act next, ripping off TD runs of 45 and 68 yards on the next two possessions, and the rout was on with a 29-0 first quarter lead. On his 60-yard run, the big running back powered up the middle and broke a few tackles with his size, then cut to the outside high stepping out of another tackle before using his speed to outrace everyone to the end zone.
“I was just trusting the offensive line today, I knew I had to follow those guys and find the holes,” said Townsend. I have to give a shout out to the line, they do it all up front and should get recognized for it.”
Tom Colombaris made a TD saving tackle on the ensuing kickoff, racing across the field to catch the Colonials return man at the Rams 25 yard line after a 50-yard run. The Rams defense would stop the threat and take the ball back on downs.
Just before half, Kleiven found Glincman again, this time on a 89 yard bomb down the middle. Glincman caught the ball and almost came to a complete stop as he pushed away the defender, before sprinting 40 yards to the end zone.
“The play was actually not designed to go to me, and I couldn’t even see Matt ( Kleiven ) behind the linemen,” said Glincman ( 2 catches for 97 yards ). Then I look back and see the ball come flying out, and realized it was coming towards me. I caught it, and this guy was right there on me so I put my hand out, pushed him aside, and ran for the end zone.”
While the scoreboard ( 36-0 at half ) made the game look like total domination, Morristown did have success moving the ball and gaining yardage both on offense and in their return game. They just couldn’t convert that into points, due in part to key defensive plays from the Rams.
In the first half, Dan O’Sullivan and Jake Blumenthal both recovered Morristown fumbles, while Pat Schimminger collected a sack. Aiden Koeningsburg and Matt Kratchovil both had key pass break ups, and Justin Lawler grabbed an interception.
“On defense, it was similar to last week where they moved the ball on us too, but once it gets into the red zone we toughen up,” said Townsend. “We realize we have to keep the score down and guys have to step up and make plays, which a bunch of people did for us today.”
Out of the halftime locker room, Pepe struck again, taking the opening kickoff the distance up the left side for a 36-0 lead.
"In the locker room, a few guys came up to me and said this is the one, it's about time to return one," said Pepe. "My freshman year against Morristown I took it to the 5 out of the half, but this time I was able to go all the way."
The Colonials finally got on the board with a 20-yard TD pass on the next possession. But Pepe was there to again douse their spirits. After taking a handoff on a counter, Pepe cut inside the left tackle and then burst out to the sideline where he picked up blocks from his wideouts and scampered down the field for a 45 yard TD and a 50-7 lead.
A late Colonials TD and 2-point conversion concluded the scoring at 50-15.
Pepe would finish with 280 All-Purpose yards, coming from 2 catches for 124 yards, 6 rushes for 76 yards, and the 80 yard Kickoff Return.
Townsend finished with 120 yards and two TD’s on 5 carries, while Kleiven completed 4 of 9 passes for 231 yards.
"Morristown has very good skill players across the board, so our plan was to try to contain them as best as we can," said Nahan. "Yes, they got yards on us, but I was happy we forced torunovers today. Last one we didn't force any so we had a goal to get some today and we are happy we did."
The Rams are now 2-0, and will entertain the Morris Knolls Golden Eagles at home next Friday, 7pm.