Three weeks ago, Toms River South had reached a difficult point. After starting the season 2-0, they suffered a tremendous setback. In a cross town rivalry game, the Indians fell to Toms River North by a score of 55-20. All of a sudden, things looked like they were going to be tough for this young Indians squad. One way to really judge the character of a team is how they handle adversity.
The Indians were able to respond to the challenge and rip off two straight wins. They won a defensive struggle against Lacey in horrific weather conditions. Today, the Toms River South defense was able to keep up the intensity, shutting out Southern Regional in a 21-0 victory. You can sense a renewed energy level among the Indians players.
“We knew we had to take practice very seriously. As a team, we went up to Toms River North and underestimated what they could do. That was a tough one. It was time to stay focused and get everyone together to do their job. That’s what we’ve been able to do the past two weeks to turn this thing around”, added Senior Jaden Kosh.
The Indians were resilient in their defensive effort today. Jaden Kosh found his way into the backfield for an early sack. Tyler Sosa and Isaiah Parker were making plays from the outside. Together, the Indians were able to stop two Southern drives that went all the way down inside the Toms River South 20. This allowed the game to stay scoreless through the First Quarter.
Southern got a huge boost from Senior Pat Walker. Toms River South attempted to get on the board with a 29 yard field goal from Tyler Sosa. Walker was able to break through the line and get his hands on the ball, blocking the kick and denying the Indians a huge opportunity!
With both team struggling offensively, it was time for someone to step up and make a play. This is exactly what Senior Captain Jaden Kosh did. Kosh made a huge read at the linebacker position, leaping in the air to come up with a key interception! Kosh would return the ball all the way down inside the Southern Regional 10 yard line.
“It was all a matter of making our reads. We stressed a lot about keeping track of the tight ends. I did my job and got the pick on the coverage”, added Kosh on the interception.
Kosh would finish off the drive. He got some running room, getting down to the 3 yard line. Two plays later, the Senior powered his way into the end zone from the 1. This gave Toms River South a 7-0 lead with 3:50 left in the first half.
Southern got a little bit of momentum going in the third after Nick Simonelli came up with an interception, However, the Indians defense continued to dominate at the line of scrimmage. Toms River South put a lot of pressure on Sam Cammarata throughout the afternoon. This would force a 3 and out, giving the ball right back to Toms River South.
After a scoreless third, Toms River South would finally get the offense going again. Jaden Kosh continued to make plays with his legs, leading a drive past midfield. Kosh would eventually break right through the middle for his second touchdown of the game. The Senior scored from the 10 yard line to give the Indians a 14-0 lead.
However, Kosh would take a hit to the knee on the scoring play. He had to leave the field for the remainder of the game. It was a tough break because Jaden is always such a great competitor to watch, but his teammates were ready to step up for him.
“I was a little nervous coming out of the game with an injury, but one player doesn’t make a team. My teammates were ready to rally around me. After I went down, they said every touchdown we score will be for you. Every defensive play we make will also be for you”, said Kosh.
“Jaden is an amazing player. He is big, strong, and tough to tackle. He plays so hard on the field. We wanted to stay out there and keep things going in our direction while he was sidelined”, said Running Back DaShaun Alexander.
Junior Quarterback Dominic O’Brien would replace Kosh after the injury. O’Brien found a rhythm, hitting Running Back Tyler Sosa for an 18 yard completition. He also completed another 22 yard play. This would set up Sosa who found the end zone from 3 yards out with 2:49 left in the game. The final score would seal the deal for the Indians.
The Indians are now 4-1 on the season and very much alive in Class A South and South Jersey Group IV. The team will look to build on this two game winning streak, but they know it’s going to be a tough road ahead.
“We have to keep working hard. Our next three games are definitely going to be the hardest that we’ve had. We are playing three great teams. It’s just a matter of continuing to work hard each and every week in preparation”, said Jaden Kosh after the game.
“Our offense is getting better all the time. We have to continue to excel in the running and passing game to stay balanced. It’s time to finish through the long stretch, said DaShaun Alexander.
The Indians will go on to road to face a Jackson Memorial team that has lost three straight. That will be no easy task. They will follow that up with home games against Brick Memorial, and Brick Twp. There is definitely no rest for the weary in Class A South!
Passing: TRS – Kosh 0-5-1-0, O’Brien2-3-0-40. Southern: Cammarata 5-20-2-29.
Rushing: TRS – Kosh 17-65, Alexander 9-65, Sosa 6-15, Porter 3-15, Hibbert 3-8, Rockhill 1-2. Southern – P Walker 17-46, D Walker 3-8, Miele 1-5, Barnetti 1-1.
Receiving: TRS – Valasquez 1-22, Sosa 1-18. Southern – Simonelli 2-8, Lane 1-15, Brown 1-6, P Walker 1-1.
TRS – Kosh 1 yard run. ( Sosa kick)
TRS – Kosh 10 yard run. ( Sosa kick)
TRS – Sosa 3 yard run. ( Sosa kick)
Stay tuned to NJSR for all your previews, highlights, and recaps throughout the week. The Shore Conference Power Rankings for Week 7 will be released on Tuesday!