South Brunswick 27, Manalapan 21
The Manalapan Braves season ended on a heartbreaking 27-21 loss on the road against No 1 seed South Brunswick in Central Jersey Group III. The Braves gave the Vikings all they could handle, even overcoming a 21-7 deficit. The game ended on a 1 yard touchdown pass from Josh Liao to Mo Jabbie at the end of regulation.
Chris Maksimik gave Manalapan a 7-0 advantage to start the game. Maksimik scored for the second time in the third quarter. Luke Corcione hit Reilly Radesovich with a 23 yard strike that tied the game at 21. Corcione finished 7 of 13 for 151 yards. Marcus Salinas ran for 63.
It was a tough way to end the season for the Braves who were playing much better throughout the second half of the season. Head Coach Eddie Gurrieri will return a lot of talent next year with Corcione, Maksimik, Na’im Mayfield, and Symir Blacknall all set to return.
Brick Memorial 28, Allentown 7
Allentown had a very short lived 7-0 lead in the beginning of the game as the Mustangs came rolling back to score 28 straight points. Sophomore Tony Thorpe continued to pile up the yards with a 34 yard touchdown run. Brick Memorial immediately recovered a fumble to score again to take a 14-7 lead.
Quarterback Tim Santiago would finish off the Redbirds, hitting Elie Lavarin with a 34 yard scoring play. Santiago crossed the goal line on the ground from the three yard line to put this one away. Brick Memorial will advance to the Central Jersey Group IV Championship Game at Rutgers University.
Shore 42, Florence 0
The Shore Regional Blue Devils clinched their ticket to compete for a third straight Central Jersey Group I title by defeating Florence 42-0. The team has now won a program record 18 straight games. This was simply as dominating of a win as you could get!
Junior Quarterback Matt Pennel put on a show for the fans in attendance. Pennel connected with Duke Russo for touchdowns of 34, and 31 yards. The quarterback also hit the end zone inside the 5. Jack Britton and Mark Russo added to the Blue Devils offensive attack by scoring on runs of 30, and 33 yards. Lukas Jackey also added a touchdown in the win.
Shore will meet Palmyra in the championship game. Palmyra was able to rally from a 34-14 deficit to defeat Keyport 35-34. This will be an interesting matchup as Palmyra comes in as a team that likes to throw the football. Shore is very old school and relies on great defense, and a ground and pound offense.
Next up for the Blue Devils will be a matchup against Rumson Fair Haven on Thanksgiving Day. Both teams are headed to sectional title games which will certainly make it one to watch.
Toms River North 14, Lenape 0
St John Vianney 49, Red Bank Catholic 6
Palmyra 35, Keyport 34
Raritan 42, Delaware Valley 13
The Rockets have been the Road Warriors of the Shore Conference, winning two straight playoff games as the 6th seed. This time Raritan traveled all the way to 2nd seed Delaware Valley and walked away with a very convincing 42-13 win. Raritan entered the playoffs on a 5 game losing streak.
Raritan lit up the scoreboard offensively as Derek Ernst battled his way for more than 200 yards on the ground. Ernst has been a battering ram for the Rockets all season. The Senior crossed the goal line three times. Quarterback Marc Carnivale threw 2 touchdown passes to Jahciere Jones and Jordan Smith. Sean Ennis also returned a fumble for a score.
The Rockets advance to a sectional championship for the first time since 2006. They will have their hands full with a Lincoln team that is among the most athletic in the State. Quarterback Zymiere Gordon and Iowa commit Frank Darby are both a threat to score every time they touch the ball.
Red Bank Regional 21, Ocean Twp 14
Senior Wide Receiver Sadiq Palmer stepped up in a big way for the Bucs, scoring all three touchdowns and finishing with 111 total yards to lead RBR to their first sectional championship appearance since 2003. Red Bank Regional had to go through Ocean Twp for the second time this season.
Head Coach Nick Giglio will now get his team ready to face a very familiar opponent in Rumson Fair Haven who are right around the corner. Rumson Fair Haven won two straight sectional titles in Central Jersey Group II, but have now moved to Group III and are awaiting a meeting with the Bucs. If RBR wins on championship weekend, it will be their first title in 40 years. They have never finished undefeated before.
Sadiq Palmer scored on a 33 yard pass from Jack Navitsky, and hit the end zone two more times on the ground. It was a 5 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that gave RBR a 21-14 advantage for the remainder of the game.
Rumson Fair Haven 24, Matawan 13
Junior Quarterback Michael O’Connor once again showed why he is always clutch in big games. O’Connor torched the Matawan defense for 189 total yards and 2 touchdown passes. . RFH defeated Matawan for the second time this season, and will appear in the Central Jersey Group III Championship Game. This is the third straight title appearence for Rumson, who will face undefeated Red Bank Regional in what will be the Battle of Ridge Road.
Michael O’Connor got the offense going by ripping off a 41 yard run into Matawan territory. Matt Vecchiarelli then hauled in a 9 yard reception to put the Bulldogs on the board. Bryan Hess would steal the show later in the game by breaking free for a 33 yard run. Hess Converted a 3rd and 7 from the Huskies 40. He would finish the drive with a 5 yard touchdown reception. Hess ended the game with 122 total yards. Vecchiarelli added 62 in the win.
Middletown South 41, Middletown North 14
Jackson Memorial 56, Steinert 10
The Jackson Memorial Jaguars will have the opportunity to defend their Central Jersey Group IV title against Brick Memorial. The Jaguars made life miserable for Steinert all afternoon, setting a school playoff record with 56 total points. Jackson Memorial has now won 4 out of their last 5 games since being 3-3 at the midway point of the season.