Scuderi Jr.'s team prevails in father's finale as Absegami beats St. Augustine Prep, 27-7 - High School Football

Scuderi Jr.'s team prevails in father's finale as Absegami beats St. Augustine Prep, 27-7 - High School Football

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A ranking of teams in the Cape-Atlantic League; Colonial Conference; Burlington County League; Olympic Conference and Tri-County Conference. Also ranked are Shore Conference teams that compete for South Jersey titles. Rankings selected by The Press high school sports staff based on staff observation, research and interviews with players and coaches.

1. Paul VI (1) 4-0

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9. Eastern (UR) 4-0

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Scuderi Jr.'s team prevails in father's finale as Absegami beats St. Augustine Prep, 27-7

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Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2011 1:00 am | Updated: 1:23 am, Sat Oct 22, 2011.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - Some moments can't be put into words no matter how hard you try. You search for the right thing to say, but nothing comes out.

Instead, you look for the gestures that show the true meaning.

A son giving his father the game ball, both with tears in their eyes.

Former players standing on the sideline in solidarity.

Current players lining up to hug and say goodbye to coaches. Tears freely falling from football men.

That's the way it was Friday night when Absegami High School hosted St. Augustine Prep in a football game - when Dennis Scuderi Jr., coached against his father, Dennis Scuderi Sr., probably for the last time.

It was the older Scuderi's last game for the Hermits, even though there are still several games left in the season. Scuderi Sr. was told this week that he will no longer be the coach of St. Augustine Prep following last night's game. In announcing the firing Thursday, the St. Augustine Prep administration cited "a philosophical impasse" with the elder Scuderi.

The Hermits lost 27-7 to Absegami, which got 225 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries from junior running back Tyler Bing.

But the score didn't matter to some people on this night.

"I am looking at the clock and just saying, 'It's done, it's over,' " Scuderi Sr. said. "It's just done."

As the final seconds ticked off, coaches, sideline personnel and others shook Scuderi Sr.'s hand. Many of them told him how much he will be missed and how he didn't deserve to be let go in the middle of a season.

He received phone calls once the news came out, even from people he hadn't heard from in years.

But the toughest part was saying goodbye to the players.

They lined up, one by one, waiting to hug their coach and hear just a few more words from him.

"I'd rather him stay the rest of the year and then have them make a decision," said senior lineman Austin Johnson, who has verbally committed to Penn State. "I'm mad and upset, but as a captain I have to rally the team."

Johnson talked about playing under Scuderi Sr. for four years. Practices were tough, but Scuderi pushed the Hermits to get the most out of them, Johnson said.

He had a fun side as well, Johnson said. The team would run unusual drills, but they were done to bond the players.

"He was motivating. He would make us better players," Johnson said. "He's going to push you to your limits. Even when you break down and get mad and all that, he's going to be there to pick you up."

High school coaches don't often get fired during a season. Coaches come and go, but usually during the quiet of the offseason.

But it seemed that's all anyone wanted to talk about now. The younger Scuderi had to answer questions about his father from his own players. They read the articles and asked him how could they help.

Then the Braves told Scuderi Jr. they would stick by him Friday.

"The theme tonight for us before the game was family and sticking together," Scuderi Jr. said. "I think that proved true tonight."

Absegami's star quarterback Rashad Kinlaw went down in the first quarter with a leg injury. He's been the heart of the offense for the Braves and they had to find other players to fill the gap. Bing helped fill the gap with his memorable performance.

Absegami's Scuderi, who holds a 2-1 edge against his father in this series, found it difficult to coach on a night when he knew it could be the last time he sees his father across the field - so close to a goal he may now never reach.

Scuderi Sr. wanted to get 100 career wins. After finishing 37-20 with St. Augustine, his career record sits at 90-41.

"To not see him get there …," Scuderi Jr. said before having to pause. "I gave him the ball and told him in my book he's worth more than 100 wins."

Contact Susan Lulgjuraj:


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Cape-Atlantic League National Conference

School Conference Overall
St. Augustine Prep 7-0 8-2
Bridgeton 7-1 8-3
Cedar Creek 6-1 7-2
Buena Regional 5-3 5-5
Ocean City 3-4 4-5
Middle Township 2-5 3-6
Vineland 2-6 2-7
Pleasantville 1-6 2-7
Lower Cape May Regional 0-7 0-8

Cape-Atlantic League American Conference

School Conference Overall
Holy Spirit 7-0 10-0
St. Joseph 6-1 9-1
Millville 6-2 7-3
Hammonton 5-2 6-3
Atlantic City 3-4 4-5
Absegami 2-5 4-5
Oakcrest 1-6 2-7
Mainland Regional 1-6 3-6
Egg Harbor Township 1-6 2-7

Shore Conference A South

School Conference Overall
Jackson Memorial 6-1 7-3
Brick Township 5-2 8-3
Toms River South 5-2 7-3
Brick Memorial 4-3 6-4
Lacey Township 3-4 5-5
Southern Regional 3-4 4-5
Toms River East 1-5 3-6
Toms River North 0-6 1-8

Shore Conference B South

School Conference Overall
Barnegat 5-1 9-1
Central Regional 5-2 5-4
Monsignor Donovan 4-2 4-5
Lakewood 4-3 6-3
Jackson Liberty 3-4 4-5
Manchester Township 3-3 3-6
Pinelands Regional 1-5 1-8
Pt. Pleasant Boro 1-6 1-9

West Jersey Football League Royal Division

School Conference Overall
Camden 4-0 9-1
Delsea Regional 4-1 9-2
Woodrow Wilson 3-1 4-5
Bishop Eustace 1-4 5-4
Cumberland Regional 1-4 1-8
Deptford 1-4 1-8

West Jersey Football League Classic Division

School Conference Overall
Pennsville 5-0 8-2
Salem 4-1 5-5
Gloucester 3-2 3-6
Clayton 1-3 3-6
Pitman 1-3 2-7
Wildwood 0-5 2-5

Scoring leaders

Name School Total points
Lamont Harris St. Augustine Prep 126
Stefon Bowman Bridgeton 110
David Hood Absegami 108
Christian Tutela Lacey Township 100
Taalib Gerald Holy Spirit 96
Cappadonna Miller Bridgeton 92
Ryquell Armstead Millville 90
Rob Ennis Millville 90
Cody Sampson St. Joseph 84

Rushing touchdowns

Name School TDs
Lamont Harris St. Augustine Prep 21
Stefon Bowman Bridgeton 16
David Hood Absegami 15
Taalib Gerald Holy Spirit 14
Ryquell Armstead Millville 13

Passing touchdowns

Name School TDs
Tom Kelly Lacey Township 19
Jose Tabora St. Augustine Prep 19
Jamir Prevard Atlantic City 16
Ty Mindish Mainland Regional 13

Receiving touchdowns

Name School TDs
Christian Tutela Lacey Township 14
Austin Francisco St. Augustine Prep 12
Alex Padovani Hammonton 7
Isiah Graves Atlantic City 7
Jim Brennan Mainland Regional 7
LaDarrell Dixon Oakcrest 7

Field goal leaders

Name School Number Longest in yards
Jon Kubricki Pinelands Regional 5 36
Ryan Ulrich Barnegat 4 37
Joe Stadnicki Ocean City 4 38
Franco Rifici Holy Spirit 4 27
Alex Padovani Hammonton 3 30
Ryan Davis Cumberland Regional 3 47
Kyle Snow St. Augustine Prep 3 32
Mike McGarry
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James Clark
  • James Clark
  • Assistant Soccer Coach at St. Augustine Prep
  • James Clark has been writing about soccer for various media outlets, including The Press of Atlantic City, for 15 years. The Northfield resident coached travel teams in the South Jersey Soccer League for a decade and is currently an assistant soccer coach at St. Augustine Prep. Clark's blog will appear three times a week and daily during this summer's World Cup.