Tren­ton can’t over­come early deficit in loss to RV

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS - By Rick Forten­baugh rforten­baugh@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @rick­fort7 on twit­ter

TREN­TON » There were a lot of things that went on in the Ran­co­cas Val­ley foot­ball team’s 3421 win over Tren­ton on Satur­day and in the end it was sort of a mixed bag for both teams.

Tren­ton (1-1) could cer­tainly feel pretty good about the fact it sig­nif­i­cantly closed the gap on RV from a year ago and was able to put 21 points on the board against a Red Devil team (2-1) known for play­ing tough de­fense.

On the other hand, there were some break­downs for the Tor­na­does, in­clud­ing on spe­cial teams where it got torched for a touch­down on a kick­off re­turn and a 3-yard punt that set up the Mt. Holly gang on the Tren­ton 4 yard line.

As for Ran­co­cas Val­ley, the 34 points it scored was a solid ef­fort, es­pe­cially when you con­sider it was with­out star al­laround play­maker Danny Kon­dras be­cause of a mi­nor in­jury.

Not so great for the RV was the way Tren­ton re­ceivers of­ten broke wide open down field and the fact it had trouble con­tain­ing quar­ter­back Mah­sia McRae when he was flushed from the pocket as the game went along.

It was all part of a nearly three-hour marathon that had more flags than the front of the United Na­tions build­ing and a host of would-be touch­downs negated by penal­ties.

“They re­ally took it to us last year, so in that sense it was a lot bet­ter,” said Tren­ton coach Greg Hys­lop. “I also like the way we kept fight­ing. We played a lot bet­ter in the sec­ond half.”

It was a tale of two halves with Ran­co­cas Val­ley bolt­ing out to a 21-7 lead in the first. Op­er­at­ing smoothly un­der the able lead­er­ship of fouryear start­ing quar­ter­back Bryce Man­gene (two rush­ing TDs and two TD passes), the Red Devils struck right away when they drove 83 yards on 12 plays and scored on an 18yard keeper by Man­gene.

Also in the first half, the vis­i­tors reached the end zone on an­other run by Man­gene and a 65-yard kick­off re­turn by Tai Mat­lock to make it 21-7.

Mat­lock’s TD came af­ter Tren­ton had scored on a 44-yard bomb by McRae to Bran­don Richard­son mid­way through the sec­ond quar­ter. Man­gene’s sec­ond TD came af­ter Tren­ton was forced to punt from its own 1 yard line and the shanked kick went out of bounds at the 4.

It was more of the same for much of the third quar­ter as Ran­co­cas Val­ley in­creased its lead to 28-7 with a long drive capped by a 20-yard pass from Man­gene (9-for-14 pass­ing, 125 yards) to a leap­ing Jah­mier Wash­ing­ton in the end zone. Wash­ing­ton’s TD catch came af­ter two RV touch­down runs were wiped out by penalty flags on the same drive.

It looked like the rout might be on, but Tren­ton was able to stay in the game and scored late in the third quar­ter on a 7-yard pass from McRae (10-for-16, 11 yards) to Jaron En­car­a­cion.

Much like in the first half with Mat­lock’s kick­off re­turn, RV had a quick an­swer and stormed down the field on seven plays. The last RV touch­down came on an­other pass 20-yard pass by Man­gene, this time to Cer­rone Hill, who made an ac­ro­batic catch in the cor­ner of the end zone.

Still not fin­ished de­spite what was now a 34-14 deficit, Tren­ton struck right back by go­ing 53 yards on just three plays and scor­ing on a 6-yard keeper around left end by McRae. This TD was set up by a 27-yard pass to James Hub­bard and a 14-yard scram­ble by McRae to the 6 yard line.

That proved to be the end of the scor­ing, although Tren­ton did have a punt re­turn for a touch­down later called back be­cause of an il­le­gal block. When the Tor­na­does protested the call, it only got worse from there as they were also hit with an un­sports­man­like con­duct penalty.

Ran­co­cas Val­ley (2-1) 7 14 7 6 - 34 Tren­ton (1-1) 0 7 7 7 - 21 RV-Man­gene 18 run (Prescav­age kick) RV-Man­gene 4 run (Prescav­age kick) T-Richard­son 44 pass from McRae (Brown kick)

RV-Mat­lock 65 kick­off re­turn (Prescav­age kick)

RV-Wash­ing­ton 20 pass from Man­gene (Prescav­age kick)

T-En­car­a­cion 7 pass from McRae (Brown kick)

RV-Hill 20 pass from Man­gene (kick blocked) T-McRae 6 run (Brown kick)

JOHN BLAINE/ FOR THE TREN­TO­NIAN

Tren­ton’s Bran­don Richard­son (4) cel­e­brates with team­mate James Hub­bard (2) af­ter scor­ing a touch­down against Ran­co­cas Val­ley dur­ing Satur­day’s game.

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