September 27, 2016

Fueled by Webb’s Breakout Performance, PHS Football Rolls Past Hightstown 33-0


WEBB MASTER: Princeton High football player Isaac Webb looks to break loose from a foe earlier this season. Last Friday evening at Hightstown, sophomore receiver Webb enjoyed a breakout game, making six catches for 177 yards and four touchdowns as the Little Tigers rolled to a 33-0 win over the Rams. PHS, now 1-1, plays at WW/P-N (1-1) on September 23. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

With the Princeton High football team locked in a scoreless tie in the second quarter at Hightstown last Friday evening, Isaac Webb caught the ball in the flat and decided it was time for him to make a breakthrough.

“I saw the end zone and it was let’s do it, why not,” said receiver Webb. “It was my first TD as a varsity player as a sophomore. It was a great feeling.”

Webb, though, was not content to stop there with the 46-yard scoring play. “It is go out and get more, always do better,” said Webb, recalling his thoughts as he crossed the goal line.

The 6’2, 180-pound Webb lived up to those words, going on to make six catches for 177 yards and four touchdowns on the evening as PHS rolled to a 33-0 win over the Rams.

With PHS having lost 33-6 to Pemberton in its season opener a week earlier, Webb and his teammates were hungry to get into the win column.

“We came into practice this week with a different kind of mindset,” said Webb. “We are 0-1 and this team was also 0-1 so we felt one team is going to come out 1-1 and we handled business with a great victory that was very well played on both sides of the ball.”

Webb has developed a good connection with junior quarterback Vince Doran, who ended up hitting on 12-of-15 passes for 271 yards and five touchdowns in the win over the Rams.

“Vince is a great quarterback, he knows what he is doing all of the time,” said Webb.

A friendly competition with classmate and fellow receiver Aiden Sarafin has also helped to spur Webb.

“Me and Aiden are great friends, we are in the same grade and have the same classes together,” said Webb of Sarafin, who had three catches for 57 yards and a TD against Hightstown.

“We had to battle it out, he scored one so I scored one. I always want to one up him and show him what it is.”

Showing his elusiveness in the open field, Webb raced 55 yards on a broken play for the final touchdown of the evening, getting some help from his friend Sarafin.

“It was supposed to be a run to my side and I was supposed to be blocking,” said Webb.

“Vince and me made this good eye contact and I was hey throw the ball if you want to and he threw the ball. I caught it and ended up in the end zone. I saw the kids on my tail and Aiden came to block for me.”

PHS head coach Charlie Gallagher believed his team had a mismatch in its favor when it came to the receiving corps, spearheaded by Webb, Sarafin, and junior star Jakob Green.

“In the end, I thought we matched up well against these guys in some positions,” said Gallagher.

“They were stingy up front, their linebackers were good and they were getting after it. Having said that, on the outside, our wide receivers were good and they are young.”

While PHS had trouble getting rolling as it led 7-0 at halftime, Gallagher thought the team got into a rhythm as it scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to break the game open.

“We thought it was there, we were saying how stuff was there but at the same time maybe we were being a little too patient,” said Gallagher, noting that the PHS running game got going as sophomore Carson Giles rushed for 76 yards with some big runs down the stretch.

“We would like to get 14 or 21 in the first quarter but we were trying some different things and then it just started to click.”

Gallagher credited lefty quarterback Doran with being a catalyst for the Little Tigers. “Vince did a great job, he spread the ball around, he was under some duress and he was able to fire some balls in there, which was great,” said Gallagher. “We are happy with how is he progressing, he’s going to get better.”

On the defensive side of the ball, PHS showed major progress, holding the Rams to 51 yards passing and 95 yards rushing in posting the shutout.

“Coach D (defensive coordinator Steve DiGregorio) is a great coach, we all know that,” said Gallagher.

“He is dialing up the right blitzes, the right combinations and these guys are playing well. He has got the kids doing what he needs them to do in practice and it is translating into the games really well.”

With PHS playing at WW/P-N on September 23, Gallagher is hoping that his team can build on the win over Hightstown.

“We have things to clean up and I think they are correctible so we can get that done,” said Gallagher.

“We will focus on that. Both teams are coming off a win so that is a confidence boost for them. We have got two teams at 1-1, looking to go above 500 and hopefully we are that team.”

Webb, for his part, believes that the Little Tigers are going in the right direction.

“After starting 0-1, we really felt distraught; we didn’t really know what was going to happen,” said Webb. “Getting this victory is great, we have a great confidence boost.”