The Holy Spirit High School football team features one of the state's best running games.
The running backs get most of the attention, but Spartans coach Charlie Roman points out another vital player in the ground attack - tight end Zach Fabel.
"He's the guy that basically leads the running game," Roman said. "A lot of our running game goes right behind him, and he has just done a tremendous job opening up holes for Donta (Pollock) and Nigel (Jones)."
Fabel will open up holes on Saturdays next year, for Monmouth University in the NCAA Division I Football Champion-ship Subdivision (FCS).
The 17-year-old Brigantine resident became the third current Spartan to commit to play D-I. He will get a partial athletic/academic scholarship.
"I'm excited," Fabel said. "It feels great not to have to worry about that stuff anymore. Now I can just worry about the season."
Pollock has 955 yards and nine touchdowns and Jones 732 yards and seven touchdowns for the Spartans (4-3), the No. 10 team in The Press Elite 11. The duo is on pace to become the first backfield tandem in state history to go over 4,000 career yards in the same season.
That doesn't leave many touches for the rest of the team.
Fabel would be a focal point of many offenses around the Cape-Atlantic League.
At Spirit, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound end has 10 catches for 140 yards.
His stats are deceiving.
Fabel runs and catches like a receiver and blocks like a lineman.
"He is a fantastic football player," Roman said. "He only has 10 catches because we don't throw the ball much, but it's easy finding tight ends that can catch. Finding one that is an athletic, tough blocker is tough to do."
Fabel said he has always enjoyed blocking.
"That's what I've been doing my whole life," Fabel said. "I love it.
"When I block, I'm not worried about trying to take the right steps or anything. The first step is important. Other than that, it's strictly attitude, so I fly around and go as hard as I can."
Fabel attended a camp at Monmouth last season and went to a game in late September. Monmouth offered him a scholarship one week later, and Fabel gave his verbal commitment.
Monmouth plays in the Northeast Conference. The Hawks are 4-4 this season under 19th-year coach Kevin Callahan, who ranks 21st among active coaches with 104 career wins at the FCS level.
Fabel joins linebacker Dan Mastromatteo and lineman Nico D'Angelo as Spartans to receive Division I offers. Mastromatteo will play at North Carolina and D'Angelo at Villanova.
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