Brick Memorial’s Win Over Neptune Highlights Week Five
The score heard around the Shore Conference in Week Five was 40-28, as Brick Memorial ended Neptune’s 14-game winning streak in emphatic fashion for an eye-opening victory in a showdown between top-five teams.
Senior quarterback Ryan Cieplenski amassed 348 yards of total offense, throwing three touchdown passes and running for another two as the Mustangs racked up 471 total yards as a team and became the first team to score 40 points on Neptune since Red Bank Catholic did it six years ago. Sophomore wideout Karl Kumm had a pair of touchdown catches in the first half to help lead the offense.
The defense registered a second-half shutout as Brick Memorial won the second half 19-0 to improve to 5-0 and end the longest current winning streak in the Shore Conference. Junior Jake Lombardo had three sacks in the second half and linebacker Nick Costa had an interception return for a touchdown to help slow down Neptune senior quarterback Ajee Patterson, who had 325 total yards, two touchdown passes and a pair of touchdown runs in the loss.
Brick Memorial surpassed its win total from last year with the victory and stamped itself as a prime contender in the Class A South race and in the Central Jersey Group V bracket.
As far as the divisional races were concerned, a pair of Ocean squads picked up important victories. Point Beach (5-0) continued one of its best starts ever when it routed Asbury Park, 54-20, for an impressive win in Class B Central. The Garnet Gulls rolled up 345 yards on the ground, including 192 by senior Danny Tighe, who had three touchdowns in the victory. The Garnet Gulls lost twice to Asbury Park last year, including the Central Jersey Group I semifinals, and repaid the favor with a victory that stamps them as a serious contender for the Class B Central and Central Jersey Group I titles. Point Beach’s last division title was in 1997, and it has never won a state title. It may have to go through Shore Regional to achieve both of those goals.
In Class B South, Monsignor Donovan continued its push toward its first division title since 1993 with a 28-14 win over Point Boro that gave the Griffins sole possession of first place. Junior quarterback Vincent Grasso had 190 total yards and two touchdowns as Monsignor Donovan rumbled for 282 yards on the ground.
Middletown South bounced back from a loss to Manalapan in impressive fashion by downing Manasquan 42-13 in a nondivisional game. Junior quarterback Kyle Brey threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in a match-up between a Manasquan program that has the most NJSIAA titles (11) in Shore Conference history against an Eagles program with the second-most (9).
Shore Regional won its fourth straight game with an overtime thriller against Holmdel in a nondivisional game. The Blue Devils pulled out a 14-13 win when the Hornets missed their extra-point attempt after Shore had scored first on a touchdown pass by junior quarterback Matt Muh, who transferred from Holmdel to Shore at the end of last season.
The longest current winning streak in the Shore Conference now belongs to Point Beach and No. 1 Red Bank Catholic, which rolled to its sixth straight victory with a 28-0 shutout of Freehold in a nondivisional game. It was the third shutout in five games this season for the Caseys, and junior tailback Larry Redaelli ran for a pair of touchdowns. Senior James Taylor returned a punt for a touchdown to mark the third straight game in which Taylor has taken a kickoff or a punt to the house. Just like RBC, Lacey also continues to be impressive as it improved to 5-0 after a 54-0 win over Manchester in which senior tailback Kyle Spatz ran for 207 yards and four touchdowns on only six carries.
Two teams broke into the win column for the first time this season in Week Five as Toms River East downed Howell 28-21 and Monmouth Regional beat Raritan 13-10 for their first victories. Senior Pat Gallagher ran for three touchdowns for Toms River East, while quarterback Jeff Farrah scored on a 6-yard run in the fourth quarter and the defense stopped Raritan in the final minutes for Monmouth.
Keansburg is now 4-1 on the heels of a one-win season, as the Titans downed Highland Park 20-14 thanks to 159 total yards and a touchdown by quarterback Ryan Kurtz and touchdowns by Chris Figaro and Terry Murray. The Titans’ Class B Central rival, Keyport, has now won four straight after a 27-6 victory over Mater Dei Prep that was a seven-point game in the second half until junior quarterback Alex Thomson threw a touchdown pass to Tyler Alvarez and ran for a score to help the Red Raiders pull away.
Long Branch and Ocean have now each won two straight after picking up wins this past weekend. The Green Wave cruised past Pinelands, 62-0, to improve to 4-1, while Ocean scored a 31-21 comeback victory over Red Bank in Class B North. Junior Jair Bernier helped lead the comeback with a punt return for a touchdown and an interception return for a score in the second half.
Wall celebrated its past while earning a win in the present when it knocked off Brick 18-6 in a nondivisional game for its second victory. The Crimson Knights also honored the members of their state championship teams from 1982 and 2002 at halftime.