Jersey Mike’s Football Team of the Week: Mater Dei Prep
Every week this fall, Jersey Mike’s and Shore Sports Network will be selecting a Team of the Week based on its performance over the past weekend.
The Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week for Week 10 is Mater Dei Prep, which knocked off defending champion DePaul, 28-23, in a sensational and dramatic Non-Public Group 3 semifinal game to advance to a third straight state championship game. Shore Sports Network was at practice Tuesday to present the Seraphs and head coach Dino Mangiero with a special game ball and a $500 Jersey Mike’s gift card.
Senior quarterback Rob McCoy threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Clarence Lewis with 41 seconds left in regulation to give Mater Dei a 28-23 lead. DePaul quickly drove down the field and got the inside the 5-yard line with four seconds left but junior defensive back Tahaj Parland knocked away a pass in the end zone to clinch the thrilling victory.
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.
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 pull 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.
Mater Dei is now 10-1 with its only loss coming by one point to Cheshire Academy, a postgraduate school from Connecticut. The Seraphs have not lost to a Shore Conference team since 2015 and will enter the state championship game with the No. 1 offense (39.2 ppg) and a top-five defense (10.8 ppg) in the Shore. McCoy, Lewis, Alston, Noguera and junior running back Malik Ingram lead the Seraphs’ explosive offense while Boston College recruits Izaiah Henderson (defensive tackle) and Shittah Sillah (linebacker) anchor the defense along with senior linebacker Russell Ferrisi and junior defensive lineman Amir Coleman.
The state championship game will pit the Seraphs, ranked No. 2 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, against No. 1 and undefeated Red Bank Catholic (9-0) in a highly-anticipated meeting between the top two teams in the Shore. Two Shore Conference teams have met in an NJSIAA Non-Public state final since 1980.