first_imgKeyport, Matawan, Eagles continuewinning ways Keyport, Matawan, Eagles continue winning ways By tim morris Staff Writer CHRIS KELLY Keyport’s Brian Mueller chases down Shore Regional quarterback John Vaccarelli during Saturday’s Red Raider win in West Long Branch. In a back-and-forth, momentum-swinging game, Middletown North had one last opportunity to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat. Equally aware of that was the Howell High School defense. It had spent the fourth quarter protecting a 25-20, and, with time winding down, the Rebel D was asked to make one more stop. A 10-yard run from Dennis Freshnock and a nine-yard pass play from sub quarterback Dennis Bozard to James Corcoran had taken the ball up to the Lion 39-yard line. There was less than 30 seconds left, but the Lions were moving, and in a game that had featured everything from called-back touchdowns, inadvertent whistles and eight turnovers, anything seemed possible. That’s when defensive end Matt Metta stepped up and made the play the Rebels needed. He broke through the Lions’ line to sack Bozard and take all the momentum away. With no time-outs left, the Lions were to rush to the line and get one last play off, a completed pass to Kyle Haran that had no chance of going anywhere. “It was all adrenaline,” Metta said after the game of his sack. “We knew that we had to make a play. My job was containment against the run, but when I saw him go back in the pocket, I went for the quarterback.” The defensive stand helped the Rebels complete a comeback. The Rebels trailed 14-0 in a blink of the eye in the first half, went ahead 19-14 at the half, then fell behind 20-19 only to come back one more time to win it 25-20 and improve to 2-1 on the season, while the Lions fell to 0-3. Two teams desperately in search of a victory figured to play a close game and that is exactly what happened at Middletown South High School. (North’s field is being refurbished this year and the Lions must play their home games at South.) The Lions, led by their brilliant, ball-faking option quarterback Rob Molinaro jumped out to a 14-0 lead. A 45-yard punt return by Matt Fix set the Lions up for their first touchdown, a 12-yard run from Molinaro. Molinaro, as nifty a ball-faker running the option as there is in the Shore, gave Howell trouble all night, although he would leave late in the third quarter after injuring his right ankle. North struck quickly again when Jesse Evans recovered a fumble on the Howell 37. It took one play for Molinaro to run the option for a touchdown. Howell began its comeback using the arm of Dan Irvin. A tripping penalty moved the ball deep into Lion territory, and on third-and-10 Irvin found Brian Smith on a 18-yard scoring strike, cutting the lead to 14-7 after one quarter. Howell struck twice in the second quarter to take the lead. Terrence Tatum did the heavy work in a 73-yard drive, picking up 37 of the yards on the ground, including the last four for a touchdown. The key of the drive, though, was a fourth-down pass of 15 yards from Irvin to Smith. The extra point kick was wide and North clung to a 14-13 lead. However, the Rebels weren’t done yet. Getting the ball with 1:15 remaining in the half, the team marched 77 yards, the last 50 a beautiful strike from Irvin to Mike Russell, who had gotten beyond the Lion defensive backs. Irvin hit Russell in stride. The try for two failed, but Howell still led 19-14. Molinaro, who ran for 185 yards total, went 42 yards to complete a 68-yard drive to start the second half. Howell regained the lead later in the quarter when Lou Sorrentino pounced on a Lion fumble, giving the Rebels the ball in North territory at the 32-yard line. On third-and-eight, Irvin connected with Matt Maniscalco, who had found a seam in the Lion defense for the first down. But Maniscalco turned it into a 27-yard scoring play, and the Rebels were back on top 25-20. The fourth quarter saw both teams fumble away scoring chances, and it came down to one last defensive stand. North will look to turn things around on Saturday when they take on a very good Toms River South team coming off a 29-12 win over Lacey. It will be yet another tough test for the Lions. Game time is 7 p.m. in Toms River. The Colts Neck Cougars played a near perfect game in beating Mater Dei 21-0 on Saturday to get to 3-0 on the year. And they’ll need some more of the same type of play this weekend if they hope to remain perfect for another week. The Cougars continued their dominating play, while the Seraphs struggled for the third week in a row to match up with a bigger and deeper team. Colts Neck scored on its first possession, then again in the second quarter to get in front, then benefited from five Mater Dei turnovers to keep the Seraph offense out of the end zone. Mater Dei will look to get in the win column on Saturday when they travel to Rumson to take on the Bulldogs. Rumson is coming off an impressive 42-7 win over defending National Division-champion Freehold Borough, and appears to have recuperated from its week one loss to Colts Neck. Game time is 1 p.m. There are now only two undefeated teams in the National Division, and they will square off on Saturday when the Keyport Red Raiders bring their high-powered offense to Colts Neck in a battle for division supremacy. Keyport has been superb in the early going, and continued to play near flawless football in a 42-7 romping of Shore Regional on Saturday. Coach Mike Ciccotelli’s squad has one of the Shore’s premier rushing attacks this year, led by junior tailback Ken Cattouse. Cattouse was unstoppable again against Shore, rushing for 160 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone, en route to a 224-yard day. He led a Keyport offense which was clicking on all cylinders, while the defense was equally impressive, not allowing a Shore first down until the last minute of the third quarter. Through three games, Keyport has looked like a championship-caliber team, though this weekend’s test against Colts Neck will be their toughest to date. The winner of Saturday’s game will get a leg up in the division race, and will officially establish itself as the team to beat. Game time is 1:30 p.m. The Matawan Huskies notched their second win of the year, blanking the winless St. John Vianney Lancers, 31-0. Matawan got 180 yards rushing from tailback Tom Corley (180 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries) and a solid all-around game from quarterback A.J. Roque offensively, while the defense stifled the Lancer attack to the tune of 82 total yards of offense. Matawan appears to have recovered from the tough loss to top-ranked Wall Township in week three action, but faces a stiff test on Saturday when they travel to Freehold to take on the Colonials. Matawan is a bigger and deeper team than the Colonials, but cannot take anything for granted against a team that has shown a knack for springing a big upset the last few seasons. Game time is 1:30 p.m. As for Vianney, they will take on an 0-3 Point Boro team on Friday that is coming off a 21-7 loss to Wall. This game should present the Lancers with a good chance at notching their first win of the year. Game time is 7 p.m. in Holmdel. The Middletown South football team got a key interception from Steve Kirk in the second quarter of its game against Long Branch on Saturday, and then capitalized on it two plays later with a four-yard TD run from freshman Knowshon Moreno. From there, it was all defense. The Eagle D was simply dominant, holding the Green Wave offense to just 73 total yards and three first downs, as they made the 7-0 lead hold up, and got the Eagles an all-important second win of the year. In a game featuring two solid teams which are very familiar with one another, the Eagles’ defensive players stepped up, playing in a way that was reminiscent of last year’s CJ Group III championship squad. Coach Steve Antonucci’s team kept itself in the Federal Division title hunt with the win, and more importantly, played the type of smart, disciplined football we’ve come to expect from them. They’ll look for more of the same on Friday when they take on a Holmdel squad that has really struggled so far this season. The young Hornets dropped to 0-3 on the year after a 41-12 loss to Monmouth Regional on Friday night in Holmdel. Monmouth jumped ahead early and never looked back, while the Hornet offense continued to have trouble getting anything going. They managed to score their first points of the season late in the fourth quarter, then found the end zone again following a botched Monmouth punt in the game’s waning seconds, but for the most part, Holmdel struggled against a swarming Monmouth D for the entire game. It won’t get any easier for the Hornets this week either as they travel to the Swamp to take on one of the Shore’s top defensive teams. Game time is 7 p.m. The Raritan Rockets dropped their first game of the year on Saturday, losing a 33-6 contest to the third-ranked Manasquan Warriors. The Rockets opened the game in impressive fashion, driving to the Manasquan four-yard line behind the passing of freshman quarterback Andrew Mandeville. However, the drive stalled there, and the Warriors rode the momentum to four unanswered touchdowns to blow the game open. Manasquan used a balanced offensive attack to move the ball, while the Raritan offense struggled to regain the efficiency it opened the game with. Mike Fabozzi prevented the shutout when he scored a touchdown on the final play of the game, but it was little reward for a good Raritan team that had dreams of an upset. Coach Derek Sininsky’s squad will look to get to 3-1 on Friday when it hosts Long Branch. Game time is 7 p.m. By tim morrisStaff Writer last_img

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