Randolph salutes the flag. Credits: Nick Russo
Two Randolph defenders team up to take down a ball-carrier. Credits: Nick Russo
Frank Raggo's decorated helmet pre-game. Credits: Nick Russo
Randolph's Santo (40), Murphy (15) and Gundy (62) pre-game. Credits: Nick Russo
Logoyda is pressured by Dogbe. Credits: Nick Russo
Raggo leans into one of his two 45 yard field gaols Credits: Nick Russo
Corcoran is unable to bring down a long pass. Credits: Nick Russo
Jake Federico is eyed by a Par-Hills ball-carrier Credits: Nick Russo
Logoyda cocks back. Credits: Nick Russo
Bertelle (33) gets a block downfield. Credits: Nick Russo
Randolph Football Loses, 35-14, to Parsippany Hills
Sunday, November 3, 2013 • 12:03am
RANDOLPH, NJ - Randolph came into Saturday's game against Parsippany Hills riding a three-game winning streak on the back of its defense, but it was Parsippany Hills, coming off an 0-2 slide, which took it to the Rams.
Utilizing trickery and the screen game, Parsippany Hills snapped its skid and beat Randolph, 35-14. The Vikings' defense controlled much of the play along the line of scrimmage and caused problems for junior quarterback Connor Logoyda, namely Temple-bound edge-rusher Michael Dogbe.
The game opened with a short drive and an interception on a tipped ball by Par-Hills defensive back Tommy Bluj, putting Randolph on their heels at their own 8-yard line. A play later junior JD Keyes took a handoff up the middle and put the Vikings ahead early 7-0.
Randolph's next drive ended near midfield when Logoyda was hit and fumbled in the backfield on a shot by Keyes. Par-Hills took the ball inside the fifteen but two good defensive plays by junior Brennan Corcoran and an incomplete pass on fourth down got Randolph the ball on downs.
After a three-and-out by Randolph and a punt from the end zone, the Vikings drove to the Rams 12-yard line, where QB Brandon Katzenberger found a wide open Nicholas Hill for the touchdown and a 14-point lead.
Randolph moved the ball on the next drive and stalled just inside field goal range for senior kicker Frank Raggo, who skied the ball 45 yards through the uprights with room to spare, energizing the Rams.
With five minutes left in the half the Rams defense stiffened and forced another turnover on downs. A pair of sacks by Par-Hills threatened Randolph's drive, but a reception by junior James Bertelle brought Raggo out for one more try from 45. With less than two minutes on the clock, he stepped into another bomb for three points just right of dead center. “That was my career long,” said Raggo after the game. “I knew coming into this game that special teams was going to be a big factor in it, and I went out there with my full confidence.”
With Raggo's heroics fueling the Rams and the first half ticking off the clock, the Vikings orchestrated a drive. With 30 seconds left Katzenberger found Tommy Bluj deep in the flat, who had a blocker. But Bluj pulled up and fired the ball to a wide-open Matt Joyce who scampered down the sideline for a back breaking score to put Par-Hills up 21-6 at the half.
Looking for something to spark the squad in the third, interceptions by defensive backs Brennan Corcoran and senior Sean Murphy had the Rams back in the game. A 1-yard run by junior Jason Cohen and a two-point conversion pass from Logoyda to Corcoran made it a one score game at 21-14.
But after the teams traded punts Katzenberger found junior Billy Foote on a wide receiver screen who went untouched between the hash-marks to make it 28-14, Par-Hills. Another score by Keyes put the game away at 35-14.
Despite the loss and the regular season finale with Morris Knolls on the horizon, there's plenty of time for Randolph to make a mark in the state playoffs. “I think that this loss is a big wake up call for us, Morris Knolls is a huge rival, we just got to take it to them and forget about this one,” said Raggo, a four-year starting kicker.
“They'll bounce back, they're kids, kids always bounce back.” said Randolph coach Joe Lusardi. “Its the coaches that have a hard time with it.”
The Rams' last regular season game is at Morris Knolls next Saturday at 1 p.m.