By MARK TRIBLE
Staff Writer
OCEAN CITY — Well, of course the 2020 season here ended like much of it played out across South Jersey and the rest of the Garden State.
Williamstown led 28-6 at halftime against Ocean City on Friday night.
The public address announcer made a brief statement over the loudspeakers, the scattered few allotted tickets on the home bleachers clapped.
Game over.

Williamstown’s Keon Saab hauls in a first-quarter touchdown pass against Ocean City. The Braves built a 28-6 halftime lead before the game was shut down at halftime due to COVID-19 concerns. (Glory Days photo/Sully)


Yes, another odd volume — the final one for the Red Raiders and Braves — in the COVID-19 football campaign.
Ocean City athletic director Geoff Haines confirmed to nj.com’s Kevin Minnick that Williamstown administration had called for the Braves to return home after a close contact to the team’s roster had a test come back positive while the game was at halftime.
Williamstown athletic director Dean Insana then told coach Pat Gallagher.
“That person was not here,” Gallagher reiterated. “…Nobody on our team that is here tonight … they wouldn’t be here — we wouldn’t be here if that was the fact.
“It’s just a weird season, a weird year and to end like this? You can’t make this stuff up. It’s crazy.”
Gallagher felt for his 25 seniors and the 18 on Ocean City’s side. Some in red were emotionally distraught at the announcement. Rightfully so.
The Braves’ upperclassmen posed for a final picture and gathered their belongings.
“I was told they had a player who practiced with the team all week whose test results just came back that he tested positive and their athletic director informed them as they were leaving at the end of the first half that they had to leave immediately due to the close contact,” Raiders’ coach Kevin Smith said. “I can’t even begin to describe what the last week’s been for us.
“You know, they’re kind of devastated. Obviously, we didn’t play very well in the first half and they wanted an opportunity to get out in the second half and redeem that. They’re pretty upset right now. I’m just kind of speechless with the way that everything’s transpired.”
The game action came mostly as this: Keon Sabb hauled in a 37-yard pass from Dougie Brown to make it 7-0 early. Joey Racobaldo intercepted a pass soon after. It led to Turner Inge’s 1-yard plunge and a 14-0 road team lead.
Joe Repetti hit Jake Schneider for a short score on the first play of the second half to trim the score to 14-6. Brown made some clutch throws in a drive that again ended with a short Inge touchdown run.
Late in the first half, Lorenzo Hines rolled 62 yards for the game’s final points.
All of it became secondary about 25 minutes later after Hines’ big sprint.
“It’s real crazy, it’s bad we didn’t get to finish the game but at least we got out here and got to play,” Hines said. “I was very surprised.
“I didn’t think they could cancel in the middle of the game. That’s crazy to me, but it is what it is.”
This game had plenty of storylines to capture down by the boardwalk with the Ferris wheel backdrop. Ocean City entered 6-1 and sought to bounce back from its lone loss, 49-22 to North Jersey parochial powerhouse DePaul.
“I just am so proud of them,” Smith said. “They’ve accomplished so much this year, for them to kind of put us back on the map like they did.”
On the other end, Williamstown showed up at 6-2 a week after it avenged an earlier-season loss to St. Augustine with a 6-0 victory.
The offense had struggled to put up big numbers all year. Not in the first 24 minutes at Carey Stadium. A veteran-laden group wanted to leave the turf one final time as a winner for the many coaches who will leave their current roles.
Instead, the Braves left the turf as a 22-point leader.
“We talked about this senior class, they had the pen in their hand,” Gallagher, who took the job as coach for one year only after Frank Fucetola stepped down, said. “They were the ones that were going to write the last chapter in this book, and I was just excited to see how it ended.”
Technically, it never did.
Tough to expect anything less out of 2020.
Mark Trible is a former sports reporter for the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill and one of the most popular high school writers in South Jersey. Follow Mark: @Mtrible on Twitter; facebook.com/marktriblewords/