NJSIAA PLAYOFFS

FRIDAY, NOV. 9

Public sectional semifinals

Central Jersey Group 4

3-Brick 42, 2-Middletown South 14

Senior quarterback Jimmy Leblo ran for 128 yards and four touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass while senior defensive back Mike McGuigan had two interceptions, including a pick-six, as the Dragons (8-2) jumped on the Eagles (7-3) early and never let up to advance to the sectional final in emphatic fashion.

Brick scored on its opening possession when Leblo crossed the goal line on a 1-yard run and then took a 14-0 lead following a Middletown South fumble as Leblo caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from junior Anthony Prato on a reverse pass. The lead grew to 21-0 in the first quarter when Leblo broke off a 55-yard touchdown run and then became 28-0 early in the second quarter when Leblo recovered a fumble to set up his own 16-yard touchdown run.

An interception by McGuigan led to Leblo scoring on a 14-yard run to make it 35-0, a lead the Dragons took into halftime. It was more of the same in the second half when McGuigan intercepted a pass - his conference-leading seventh of the season - and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to make it 42-0 midway through the third quarter.

Tyler Cuccia returned the ensuing kickoff 85-yards for a touchdown to get Middletown South on the board but by that time the damage had been done. Chris Lotito added a 1-yard touchdown run on the final play of the game.

Brick now advances to its 13th NJSIAA sectional championship game in program history and awaits the winner of Saturday's semifinal game between Long Branch and Brick Memorial.

 

SATURDAY, NOV. 10

Non-Public Group 3 semifinals

3-Mater Dei Prep 28, 2-DePaul 23

Senior quarterback Rob McCoy threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Clarence Lewis with 41 seconds left in regulation and Tahaj Parland broke up a pass in the end zone on the final play of the game as the Seraphs (10-1) stunned the Spartans to advance to their third straight state final.

Mater Dei led 14-7 at halftime but DePaul pulled ahead with a field goal and a touchdown to take a 17-14 lead. Mater Dei answered with a 45-yard touchdown pass from McCoy to Isaiah Alston to back in front, 21-17. After DePaul re-took the lead, 23-21, on a 24-yard touchdown catch by Sean Kelly, Mater Dei drove for the winning score to conclude a wild game.

McCoy had a 1-yard touchdown to run cap a 16-play, 71-yard drive to open the game and give the Seraphs a 7-0 lead. A fumble recovery by Isaiah Noguera at DePaul's 9-yard line set up McCoy for his second touchdown run that made it 14-0 less than eight minutes into the game.

The state championship game will be a matchup of the top two teams in the Shore Conference as Mater Dei will take on Red Bank Catholic at MetLife Stadium on Thanksgiving weekend. The date and time of the game have yet to be determined.

 

1-Red Bank Catholic 27, 5-Pope John 0

Senior quarterback Steve Lubischer had a 6-yard touchdown run and a 41-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Kevin Bauman while the defense recorded its second shutout of the season to send the Caseys (9-0) to their first state final since 2014,

Junior running back Billy Guidetti had an 18-yard touchdown run and senior fullback Steve Cmielewski ran for a 7-yard score.

RBC will meet Mater Dei in an all-Shore Conference state final at MetLife Stadium on Thanksgiving weekend. The date and time have yet to be determined.

 

Central Jersey Group 5

1-Sayreville 24, 5-Manalapan 14

Junior quarterback Sean Kehley threw touchdown passes to Justin Reilly and Alex Claro but the Braves (6-4) could not overcome the top-seeded Bombers (9-1).

Sayreville jumped on top, 7-0, when Cameron Davis caught a 34-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter. The Bombers extended their lead to 14-0 on a 6-yard touchdown run by Savin Kirksey 40 seconds into the second quarter. Manalapan cut its deficit in half when Kehley threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Claro with 1:14 left in the first half.

Sayreville made it 21-7 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Kirksey with 7:15 left in the third quarter and Nick Milewski added a 25-yard field goal with 1:54 left in the game.

 

Central Jersey Group 4

1-Long Branch 47, 5-Brick Memorial 14

Junior running back Jermaine Corbett had another huge game with 314 yards rushing and five total touchdowns as the defending-champion Green Wave (8-1) blew past the Mustangs (4-6) to reach the sectional final.

A 62-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Anthony Albanese to senior running back Jeff Lavarin gave Brick Memorial a 14-13 lead with 35 seconds left in the first half, but Long Branch came up with a huge answer before the break when senior quarterback Marc Dennis threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Niles Montgomery on the final play of the half.

Long Branch took a 20-14 lead into halftime and then scored four times unanswered in the second half. Corbett had touchdown runs of 29, 58, 39 and 20 in the second half and also had an 18-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass. Dennis had an 8-yard touchdown run in addition to his touchdown pass to Montgomery.

Brick Memorial senior quarterback Tyler Sindel was injured in the first quarter and did not return. Albanese took over and scored on an 11-yard run and also had the touchdown pass to Lavarin.

Long Branch will host Brick Township in the sectional championship game on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

 

 

Central Jersey Group 3

1-Somerville 31, 4-Holmdel 20

Senior running back Dean Gallo a pair of touchdowns and senior quarterback Jeff DeCicco threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to John Tomasulo but the Hornets (8-2) fell to the top-seeded and undefeated Pioneers (11-0) to end their best season in a decade.

Gallo had a 26-yard touchdown run and a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Holmdel led 14-10 at halftime before Somerville scored 21 straight points to pull ahead and break the game open.

 

2-Rumson-Fair Haven 14, 3-Red Bank 9

Junior quarterback Collin Coles threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Peter Crowley in the second quarter and an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jackson McCarthy in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs (8-2) won the Battle of Ridge Road against the Bucs (7-2) to advance to their sixth straight sectional final.

Rumson was up 14-0 with 9:34 left in the game before Red Bank cut the lead in half on a 5-yard touchdown run by Makai Mickens. The Bucs then pulled to within five points when sophomore Nick Ferrogine blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety. An interception by Robbie DeMarco gave Red Bank the ball at midfield with 1:19 left, but Rumson senior linebacker Keegan Woods came down with an interception on the next play to clinch the win and send the Bulldogs back to a sectional final.

Senior running back Alex Maldjian ran for 113 yards on 17 carries to lead Rumson.

Rumson will at play top-seeded and undefeated Somerville (11-0) in the sectional final on Friday, Nov. 16.

 

Central Jersey Group 2

2-Manasquan 14, 3-Cinnaminson 7

A 3-yard touchdown run by senior running back Canyon Birch with 2:12 left in regulation lifted the Warriors (8-1) to a hard-fought victory over the Pirates (7-3) and sent them to the 19th sectional final in program history.

Birch ran for 152 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries and senior James Pendergist returned a punt 33 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Pendergist and senior Mike Page also had interceptions on defense.

Manasquan will play top-seeded Hillside in the sectional final next Saturday, Nov. 17.

 

Central Jersey Group 1

2-Paulsboro 34, 6-Asbury Park 0

 

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