Huskies football has its sights set on big season

first_img Seven returning senior starters will lead the Matawan High School football team into the season opener at Keyport on Sept. 13. The Huskies will be looking to make their mark against a usually strong Keyport team as Matawan seeks a good start to help it upgrade last season’s 4-6 mark. “We have a lot of experience back, particularly on offense,” said Huskies coach Joe Martucci. “We were a pretty young team last season, so we’re expecting that the experience our guys gained will help us this year. I certainly expect that we’ll be a much better team.” Key returnees include wide receiver/ defensive back Kyle Hardy (6-3, 180). Sure-handed and quick, Hardy has caught more than 30 passes each of the past two seasons. A dangerous open-field runner, Hardy has returned five kick-offs for touchdowns. He’s also intercepted nine passes during his career. Junior quarterback Jared Allison (5- 7, 165), who threw for more than 800 yards a year ago, will be looking to hook up regularly with Hardy while running Matawan’s one- and two-back I-formation. Nathan King (6-0, 210) gives the Huskies a solid runner at tailback, where he gained over 500 yards last fall. “We think that we’ll be able to put some points up on the scoreboard,” Martucci said. “Our offensive is very talented and it can be explosive.” Kyle Robinson (6-1, 180), who started last season, is the other wide receiver. Juniors Danny Fiero and Tyrone Smith as well as sophomores John Short and John Smith (6-4, 185) are the other pass catchers. Allen Sparks (6-4, 195) and Jamel Sims (6-2, 220) are the tight ends. Joining King in the backfield are junior fullbacks Dylan Rayes (5-8, 190), James Burlew (6-0, 190) and Tom Cleary (5-11, 185) and speedy sophomore MacArthur Underwood. Chris Howley (6-2, 270) will again anchor the line from his center position. Chris Simon (6-0, 230), who also started last year, will also play the line. Xavier Raddan (6-2, 270) junior Derek Garland (5-11, 245) and sophomore Andre Hodge (5-11, 205) start as well. Garland, Neal, Simon, Sims and Sparks will man the defensive line in Matawan’s 4-3, cover-2 defensive set. Sophomore Dave Incle (6-0, 195), who led the Huskies in tackles as a freshman, spearheads a deep linebacking corps that also includes Burlew, Cleary, King, Neal and Rayes. In the secondary, Hardy’s presence is something that opposing signal-callers will need to be wary of. The defensive backfield also includes Robinson, Allison, Smith and sophomore Jordan Long. “We have good team speed and quickness, and that will definitely help our defense,” Martucci said. “We do have several players playing offense and defense, but we have some depth and we’ll work to keep everyone fresh.” The Huskies are also expecting to have a strong kicking game. Junior kicker Sean Gleason showed plenty of promise a year ago booting extra points and field goals, including a 42-yarder. He will also handle the kickoffs. Vega and Robinson are the punters, and Vega can also do some placekicking. “Good kicking is a plus for your special teams,” the coach said. “Our special teams did pretty well last year, and we’re looking for that to continue.” The Sports Department can be reached at [email protected] BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer Allison, King look to be offensive leaders for Matawan in ’08 last_img read more