Big Plays By Damaso Jaime Ignite Manasquan in Win over Monmouth Regional
TINTON FALLS — Finding a way to get its record to 1-1 wasn’t the only thing concerning Manasquan’s players and coaching staff on Saturday. They were trying to get back a winning feeling they had not experienced in nearly a full calendar year.
With big plays on both sides of the ball, Manasquan snapped a seven-game losing streak dating back to last October with a 28-14 Shore Conference Class A Central victory over the Monmouth Regional. Junior Damaso Jaime had a breakout game with 143 receiving yards and a touchdown and a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown, and junior running back Parker Day ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
“We were 0-1, but these kids were looking at it as being 0-7 dating back to last year,” said Manasquan head coach Jay Price. “You tell them you did some things right but you have to adjust, but then it’s three losses, four losses, and you have a dark cloud hanging over you. I think they started to believe in themselves a little bit today, and I hope that carries over the next few weeks.”
Jaime played as a sophomore and put in a tremendous amount of work in the offseason. He wowed the Warriors’ coaching staff in the preseason and put on a show on Saturday. He turned a 15-yard gain on a pass from quarterback Liam Glieb into a 77-yard catch-and-run touchdown late in the first quarter. Late in the first half he stepped in front of a pass by Monmouth quarterback Justin Trapp and returned it 75 yards to give Manasquan a 21-14 lead at halftime. On Manasquan’s final scoring drive he caught a 41-yard pass and a 25-yard pass to set up Day’s second touchdown run.
“He came out as a freshman and played like a freshman, and we threw him to the wolves a little last season as a sophomore and maybe he questioned himself a bit,” Price said. “I’ve never seen a kid work harder in the offseason than he did. Not only in terms of weight room and speed and strength coaches, but we sent him up north to practice with some college and pro guys and he came back with a confidence I’ve never seen in a kid. He’s a coach on the field. He’s called most of the big plays he’s had. In scrimmages he’ll come over and say that this will work and sure enough it’s a 60-yard touchdown.”
This version of Manasquan isn’t the typical bruising brand of football. The Warriors are still trying to find out what will work best for them in 2015.
“I think we’re looking for an identity, I truly believe that,” Price said. “It used to be easy. We’d come out and be three yards and a cloud of dust and do the same thing on defense. We’re looking or somebody to step up, and Jaime might be that guy.”
Day, who played for Toms River North last season, made his presence felt with touchdown runs of 65 and 17 yards and finished with 128 yards on 18 carries.
Monmouth took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Trapp hit senior wide receiver Malik Wiggins for an 18-yard touchdown to cap a four-play, 44-yard drive. It started when senior defensive lineman Tyler Gallagher intercepted a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Trapp found senior Christian Boujouade for 28 yards on the fist play of the drive before connecting with Wiggins over the middle.
Manasquan responded later in the first quarter when Grieb and Jaime hooked up for 77-yard touchdown on the first play of a drive. Jaime caught a pass about 15 yards downfield and immediately broke to his right, out-racing the Monmouth defense on an angle to the corner of the end zone to tie the score at seven.
The Falcons (1-1, 1-1) would retake the lead on the ensuring drive by going 91 yards in seven plays. A 30-yard run by Trapp started the drive and moved the ball out of the shadows of the Falcons’ goal posts, and two plays later hit Wiggins for 42 yards down to the Manasquan 17-yard line. On second-and-goal from the three-yard line, senior running back Ely Velez plowed in for the touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
Once again it took Manasquan less than a handful of plays to respond. On the second play of the next drive, Day broke a 65-yard run down the visiting sideline to knot the score at 14.
Jaime came up with the biggest play of the game late in the first half when he stopped a Monmouth drive and gave the Warriors the lead. The Falcons had a chance to take the lead heading into halftime when they took over at midfield following a Manasquan punt with 2:53 left, but on third-and-10 from the 40 Jaime intercepted Trapp’s pass and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown with just 20 seconds left, giving Manasquan a 21-14 halftime lead it would not relinquish.
“Damaso is something else,” Day said. “He worked hard all offseason and he got the team hyped when he did that. We started picking it up.”
“Those big plays not only changed the game, but changed how our kids were thinking,” Price said. “They became contagious and people stopped hanging their heads and started moving quicker.”
Manasquan thoroughly controlled the second half in allowing just five Monmouth first downs while adding an insurance touchdown in the third quarter. Day’s 17-yard touchdown run with 3:09 left in the third capped a four-play, 71-yard drive that featured receptions of 41 and 25 yard by Jaime.
After snapping an uncharacteristic losing streak and beginning to find an identity on offense, Manasquan hopes the progress made on Saturday is only the beginning.
“It’s a good win but it doesn’t mean we’re off,” Day said. “We have to work harder each week and keep getting better.”
Manasquan 28, Monmouth 14
Manasquan (1-1, 1-1) 7 14 7 0 – 28
Monmouth (1-1, 1-1) 7 7 0 0 – 14
Mon – Justin Trapp 18-yard pass to Malik Wiggins (Johnson kick)
Squan – Liam Grieb 77-yard pass to Demaso Jamie (Shane Flanagan kick)
Mon – Ely Velez 3-yard run (Johnson kick)
Squan – Parker Day 65-yard run (Shane Flanagan kick)(
Squan – Damaso Jamie 75-yard interception return (Shane Flanagan kick)
Squan – Parker Day 17-yard run (Shane Flanagan kick)
Rushing – Squan: Parker Day 18-128, Connor Morgan 4-35, Paul Kruger 4-16, Liam Grieb 1-(-10); Mon: Casey Pachucki 11-46, Justin Trapp 14-43, Ely Velez 8-16, Frank Ashe 2-6, Malik Wiggins 1-1.
Passing – Squan: Liam Grieb 4-9-2 147; Mon: Justin Trapp 8-14-1 185, Casey Pachucki 0-2-0 0.
Receiving – Squan: Damaso Jamie 3-143, Jack Mallett 1-4; Mon: Malik Wiggins 3-109, Christian Boujouade 3-41, Zach Corzine 1-32, M. Componile 1-3.
Interceptions – Squan: Damaso Jamie 1-75; Mon: Frank Ashe 1-10, Tyler Gallagher 1-0.
Bob Badders covers football for Shore Sports Network. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org