RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN AMERICAN YOUTH FOOTBALL OFF TO A GOOD START By Les Pierce
The Rumson-Fair Haven (RFH) Bulldogs of the American Youth Football (AYF) League have started their 2013 campaign with a pair of wins. Most recently, RFH posted a 12–7 come-from-behind victory over the Hazlet Hawks. A 26 yard punt return by Matt Ansell to the Hazlet 40 yard line set up the first tally of that game. Three plays later, Ansell pulled in a screen pass from QB Thomas Forlenza and rambled 36 yards in traffic to the end zone. Facing an impossible third and 41 yards to go situation, Hazlet shocked the Bulldogs when Hawk QB Dan VanMeerbeke connected for a 56 yard touchdown pass with receiver Peter Bianco. Hazlet got the extra point and took the lead at 7–6. That score held up going into the halftime break.
RFH started their final scoring drive in the third quarter from the Hazlet 49 yard line with a 12 yard pass from QB Forlenza to wide out Elijah McAllister. The drive appeared in jeopardy when the Bulldogs found themselves in a fourth and 14 situation. However, QB Forlenza found McAllister once again on a crossing pattern. McAllister then sprinted over the goal line to complete the 34 yard scoring play and reclaim the lead at 12–7. The RFH defense played well, holding the Hawks to a single touchdown. Outstanding on defense were defensive end Michael Rosati, nose guard Nate Raphan, and cornerback Jack Shebell. Rosati was also credited with two open field tackles on the punt return squad.
The Bulldogs are coached by Peter Forlenza. Assisting Coach Forlenza are Toby Avino, Jim Fontanella, and Jason Van Brunt. RFH started their season with a 31–6 win over Manville.