The quarterback controversy between Martin Corso and Kevin Phillips at Freehold Boro has finally come to an end, with an unexpected twist.
Head Coach Mark Ciccotelli was thrilled when he heard former safety Damar Bivins was returning to Freehold Boro. For the remainder of the season, Bivins will be faced with the adversity of starting at quarterback, a position he has not played since he was a freshman.
Bivins moved to Charlotte, North Carolina following the Colonials championship season last year. After starting this season playing safety at Mallard Creek in Charlotte, Bivins rejoins the Colonials to finish out his senior year.
“It feels good because I’m at home,” Bivins said. “It’s kind of hard because I’m playing a new position. I have to learn everything fast before Friday night’s game.”
Bivins had played safety for the Colonials for the past two seasons. He helped Freehold Boro win back-to-back Federal Division titles and led the team to the 2008 NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III championship game. His interception with 52 seconds remaining clinched Freehold Boro’s first sectional title in school history.
Ciccotelli originally intended for Bivins to take over the quarterback role at the start of this season until he moved to Charlotte. Ciccotelli’s previous plan for the Colonials’ offense has now fallen into place.
“Before he moved away, we thought about putting him [at quarterback]. He ended up moving back, so we took a look at him, and now he’s been playing a little bit for us,” Ciccotelli said. “He’s athletic, he’s a smart kid, he’s quick, he’s tough. He was a big part of our program. We were sad to see him go, but fortunately for us, he moved back.”
The Colonials are highly anticipating Friday night’s game against Central Regional where Bivins will be making his first start at quarterback.
“My expectation is to come out with a W. That’s all I’m worried about,” Bivins said. “It doesn’t matter whether I rush for 100 yards or whether I rush for five yards, as long as we come out with a W.”
Martin Corso, who began the season as the Colonials starting quarterback before he was sidelined with a shoulder injury, will start at linebacker on Friday night. Corso is energized about returning to the position he played for the previous two seasons.
“I remember everything I did last year, so it’s kind of just like I’m building on top of that,” Corso said about playing linebacker again. “[The shoulder] is fine. I just have to put a brace on it, but other than that, I just have to go back to defense and work on what I have to work on.”
Corso has no concerns about Bivins playing quarterback, even though he knows it is difficult to learn the new position.
“He’s been picking it up pretty fast. He’s never ran the offense before, and he’s doing a great job running it. I think he’ll be fine.”
Sophomore backup quarterback Kevin Phillips will return to the bench this week after winning his first start against Liberty. Phillips provided the spark in the Colonials passing game after Corso was injured, but all eyes will be on Bivins during the next few weeks. If he can provide the leadership and athleticism that the Colonials need at quarterback, Freehold Boro will be prepared to defend their NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III state title this year in the playoffs.