EAST RUTHERFORD--- Nick Kargman thought he’d feel more upset about losing the South-Central Group 3 bowl game on Saturday, but he left MetLife Stadium with a sense of pride.
Kargman and Woodrow Wilson fell 26-18 to Rumson Fair-Haven on Saturday in a back-and-forth affair in which Rumson pounded the ball on the ground and Wilson aired it out.
“It’s the end of the season,” Kargman said. “I thought I’d be more upset, but we came out and played so hard and made it as far as we could so I’m happy. Everyone came out here and gave it their all. I’m just proud and I couldn’t ask for more from everyone else.”
Kargman received a massive effort from Naiem Simmons, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier with 175 receiving yards.
“Naiem played out of his mind,” Kargman said. “He was in the zone today. If any schools were here, they better get on him right now. He’s a great player. He shows up in the moments we needed him the most. I always expect that from him and I wasn’t worried about if he was going to play well.”
Simmons came up with massive plays in every quarter and he contributed a punt return that set Wilson up in the red zone right before halftime.
However, the mistakes in the first half hurt the Tigers, as they fumbled at the 2-yard line in the second quarter and had a bad snap at the Rumson 10 right before half, which happened as time was expiring and Wilson had no timeouts.
Despite the first-half mistakes, the Tigers fought until the last second with Kargman and Simmons leading the charge.
Kargman hit Simmons for a 32-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter as an immediate answer to a fourth-down play-action touchdown pass from Rumson’s Collin Coles to Ian O’Connor.
“Nick puts the ball where it needs to be and we go through this every single day at practice,” Simmons said. “I pictured myself everyday and this morning making the plays and doing what I have to do to help the team win.”
The next response from Wilson came in the form of a 9-yard touchdown pass-and-catch between Kargman and Stanley King, which came after John Volker’s 8-yard touchdown run for Rumson.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they weren’t able to hold Rumson at the end of the fourth, as Coles hit Jackson McCarthy for a 21-yard pass with 1:15 remaining.
Despite falling short, the Tigers were more than proud of the season they put together, which included the South Jersey Group 3 championship.
“It’s really tough,” Simmons said. “We were looking forward to this game basically all year. Everybody was talking about MetLife and how it’s the place to be. It just sucks we have to lose this way, but it’s a great feeling to be here. “
“Of course we can still be proud,” Simmons said. “We brought the championship back to Camden so we’re doing it for the city. We’re still proud and still think we’re the best team in South Jersey.”