The Barnegat High School football team might have the region’s best scout team.
Sam Madden, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound sophomore lineman, and sophomore quarterback Cinjun Erskine are both scout-team members. The two Holy Spirit High School transfers must sit the season’s first 30 days, under New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.
Both are expected to start and have an immediate impact when they become eligible for Barnegat’s fifth game. The 6-2, 194-pound Erskine already is attracting attention from colleges even though he has little high school experience.
“Right now I’m treating them in my mind like they’re injured except they’re able to practice,” Barnegat coach Rob Davis said. “We’re going to be a better team once they’re able to play. But we’re still going to go after it. We have to move on for the first four weeks.”
Davis said Madden is an aggressive, physical player. Erskine is spending plenty of time watching video to get more familiar with Barnegat’s spread offense.
“He has a nice arm,” Davis said. “Sometimes you forget that these kids are both sophomores.”
Madden and Erskine join a team that finished 7-4, won the Shore Conference B South title and reached the South Jersey Group II semifinals last season. The Bengals return a number of standouts.
Pat Moran, who may be the region’s most versatile player, probably will play quarterback until Erskine becomes eligible.
Moran excelled at wide receiver last year, catching 40 passes for 769 yards and five touchdowns. He also kicked five field goals and picked off five passes at defensive back. He’ll move back to wide receiver once Erskine becomes eligible.
“He’s a dynamic kid,” Davis said of Moran. “He’s had the best sophomore and junior years anybody in our school has ever had. He never comes off the field. He’s a good leader. ”
The Bengals also will be strong upfront with Zach Andrews (6-3, 305) and Matt Lauer (6-2, 280). Barnegat will rely on a number of talented newcomers. Of the 45 players on their roster, 23 are sophomores.
Barnegat has advanced to the South Jersey Group II semifinals each of the past seasons. The Bengals want to go even further this year.
“We’re going to go as far as our line takes us,” Davis said. “Our skill kids have to prove they can make plays. We’re looking to get to that next point, which is the state championship.”
Contact Michael McGarry: