Alumni Update: Defense Takes Center Stage
This week was all about defense among the Shore Conference graduates making an impact at the higher levels as teams jockey for bowl games, shoot for conference titles and gear up for the playoffs.
From Shilique Calhoun making an impact in the NFL to players like Ithaca's Ken Bradley, Gettysburg's Frank Olmo, Kean's Marquis Oliver and Albright's Rich Kuhn, the defense took center stage this past weekend.
If I missed anyone, you can email me at email@example.com. Just fyi, I am only including players who saw time, not just ones on the roster at a given school.
---Rookie outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun (Middletown North) had a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit for the Oakland Raiders, who overcame an NFL-record 23 penalties to beat Tampa Bay 30-24 in overtime to move to 6-2. They have a huge AFC West game coming up next Sunday night against the Broncos.
---Speaking of the Broncos, tight end Garrett Graham (Brick Memorial) is on injured reserve for the defending Super Bowl champions with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Denver beat the Chargers 27-19 as my alma mater's finest, Northwestern grad Trevor Siemian, continues to get it done at quarterback.
---Long-snapper Clark Harris (Southern/Rutgers) and the Cincinnati Bengals flew all the way to London to end in a 27-27 tie with the Redskins on Sunday morning.
---Tight end Neal Sterling (Manasquan/Monmouth Univ.) and the Jacksonville Jaguars lost 36-22 to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. Sterling had missed the previous two games with a foot injury and did not have any catches in the loss.
---Defensive end Vinny Curry (Neptune) saw time but did not have a tackle for the second straight week as the Philadelphia Eagles lost 29-23 to the Cowboys in overtime on Sunday Night Football.
---Tight end Tim Wright (Wall/Rutgers) and wide receiver Ryan Spadola (Freehold Twp.) are on injured reserve for the Detroit Lions, who didn't throw the ball enough to Anquan Boldin to help my wife's fantasy team and lost 20-13 to the Texans.
---Penn State is now up to No. 20 in the nation after a 62-24 demolition of Purdue on the heels of its takedown of Ohio State. Wide receiver Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan) had one catch for 42 yards, tight end Mike Gesicki (Southern) had one catch for 23 yards, linebacker Manny Bowen (Barnegat) finished with 6 tackles, defensive end Garrett Sickels (Red Bank) had 3 tackles, including one for a loss, and punter Chris Gulla (Toms River North) served as the holder on special teams.
---Temple is now 6-3 after a 34-13 win over Cincinnati, as wideout Keith Kirkwood (Neptune) finished with 2 catches for 38 yards and linebacker Chapelle Russell (Lakewood) had a tackle in the victory.
---A group of Shore grads squared off as FBS squad UMass picked up a 34-10 win over Wagner, an FCS program. Wide receiver Sadiq Palmer (Red Bank) had 2 catches for 21 yards and kicker Mike Caggiano (Manalapan) went 4-for-4 on extra points in the win for the Minutemen. In the loss for Wagner, quarterback Alex Thomson (Keyport) was 21-for-31 for 295 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and defensive back Jesse Flaherty (Red Bank Catholic) had 3 tackles.
---Defensive back Otis Kearney (Toms River South) saw time but did not register a tackle for Central Michigan in a 27-24 loss to Kent State.
---A pair of old Red Bank Catholic teammates met up as starting offensive lineman Quenton Nelson and Notre Dame picked up a 30-27 win over Miami, where Frank Gabriel is the long-snapper.
---Ikie Calderon (Neptune) started at linebacker but did not have a tackle in Eastern Michigan's 28-15 loss to Miami of Ohio.
---Defensive lineman Pat Toal (Raritan) had 2 tackles, including half a sack, in Old Dominion's 31-21 win over UTEP to improve to 5-3.
---Defensive lineman Kyle Mullen (Manalapan) had 6 tackles, a sack and 2 tackles for a loss in Yale's 31-23 win over Columbia.
---Running back Chad Freshnock (Middletown North) had 16 carries for 37 yards and scored two touchdowns for the second straight week as Bucknell lost 49-28 to No. 9 Charleston Southern. Doug Whitlock (Red Bank Catholic) started at defensive end but did not register a tackle, and long-snapper Dillon Paprota (Donovan Catholic) and tight end Marcus Ademilola (Jackson Memorial) both saw time in the loss.
---Wide receiver Joey Fields (Donovan Catholic) had 4 catches for 42 yards in Central Connecticut State's 19-6 loss to Robert Morris.
---Defensive end Shawn McCord (Red Bank Catholic) had 6 tackles, including a sack, and freshman linebacker Calvin Beaty (St. John Vianney) added a tackle for St. Francis (Pa.) in a 38-17 win over Sacred Heart. Defensive back Shawn Ramcheran (Matawan) had 2 tackles and Imamu Mayfield (Manalapan) also saw time in the loss for the Pioneers.
---Jordan Powell (Lacey) started at tight end but did not have a catch, and defensive back Nick Lubischer (Red Bank Catholic) also saw time as New Hampshire rolled to a 43-14 win over Stony Brook. Safety Tyrice Beverette (Lakewood) had a team-high 7 tackles, including one for a loss, and linebacker Jaheem Woods (Neptune) added 5 tackles, including 2 for a loss and a 10-yard sack, for Stony Brook.
---Running back Charlie Volker (Rumson-FH) had 9 carries for 41 yards, defensive back Connor Grogan (Manasquan) had 3 tackles, and Reily Radosevich (Manalapan) saw time on the offensive line for Princeton in a 56-7 win over Cornell.
---Tim O'Hara (Red Bank Catholic) started at left tackle and linemen Ryan Oneidas (Red Bank Catholic), Evan Sweeney (Wall) and Justin Gille (St. John Vianney) all saw time as Lehigh piled up 632 total yards in a 58-37 shootout win over Fordham. In the loss for the Rams, wide receiver Robbie Cantelli (Holmdel) continued his strong season with 4 catches for 66 yards and a touchdown, and tight end Isaiah Searight (Monmouth) added 2 catches for 26 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Brett Lambert (Holmdel) had a tackle in the loss.
---Wide receiver Tim Vangelas (Colts Neck) had 3 catches for 35 yards in Lafayette's 17-3 win over Georgetown.
---Cornerback Josh Taylor (St. John Vianney) had 3 tackles, including one for a loss, in Marist's 27-3 loss to the University of San Diego.
---Defensive lineman Nick Tomkins (Matawan) had 6 tackles for Dartmouth in a 23-21 win over Harvard. H back Anthony Firkser (Manalapan) had one catch for 7 yards in the loss for the Crimson.
---Defensive lineman Tayler Hendrickson (Middletown South) had a tackle in the University of Pennsylvania's 21-14 win over Brown.
---Defensive lineman Dimitrius Smith (Jackson Memorial) had 5 tackles, defensive end Manny Maragoto (Freehold Twp.) had 4 tackles and a pass break-up, safety Mike Basile (Brick Memorial) had 4 tackles and a pass break-up, Vinny Grasso (Donovan Catholic) had a punt return for 6 yards and and a kickoff return for 14 yards, Ryan Wetzel (Colts Neck) started at left guard, Peter Righi (Rumson-FH) started at right guard, and Matt Castronuova (Jackson Memorial), Christian Wagar (Red Bank Catholic) and Adam Kakar (Toms River North) all saw time in Monmouth University's 49-17 loss to Kennesaw State.
---Kicker Pat Toomey (Red Bank Catholic) had 3 kickoffs for a total of 180 yards in Towson's 20-6 loss to Delaware.
---Wide receiver Ishmael Hyman (St. John Vianney) saw time but did not have a catch as James Madison set a school record for points with an 84-7 demolition of Rhode Island. Monte Sinisi (Manasquan) started at defensive tackle and defensive end Geoff Horwitz (Wall) also saw time but did not register a tackle in the loss for URI.
---Defensive back Darrius Hart (Toms River South) had one tackle as Maine held off William & Mary and quarterback Steve Cluley (Wall) with a 35-28 win. Cluley finished 26-for-45 for 285 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the loss. Defensive lineman Chris Donald (Red Bank Catholic) had 2 tackles and defensive back Mike DeMonte (Red Bank Catholic) also saw time in the loss.
---Defensive back Andre Cochran (Pt. Beach) had a tackle in Delaware Valley's 50-21 win over FDU-Florham. Safety Liam Casey (St. John Vianney) had 5 tackles and 2 pass break-ups and kicker/punter Nick Maciejewski (Wall) averaged 30.8 yards on 5 punts and went 3-for-3 on extra points in the loss for FDU.
---Defensive lineman Richie Curran (Red Bank Catholic) had 3 tackles and Neil Horenburg (Red Bank Catholic) started at center in St. Anselm's 28-17 win over Merrimack.
---Linebacker Ken Bradley (Jackson Memorial) tied for the team high with 11 tackles and linebacker Dan Loizos (Ocean) added 6 tackles, including one for a loss, in Ithaca's 34-17 loss to St. John Fisher.
---Defensive end Joe Odebode (Toms River South) had 4 tackles, including one for a loss, in East Stroudsburg's 41-14 loss to West Chester.
---Linebacker Frank Olmo (Red Bank Catholic) had a team-high 14 tackles, 2 for a loss, and a sack to help Gettysburg pick up a 52-13 win over Moravian. Linebacker John Morris (Manasquan) had 3 tackles, defensive back Jake Fioretti (Pt. Beach) added 2 tackles and tight end Kevin Clayton (Rumson-FH) saw time in the win.
---Wide receiver Kyle Morris (Barnegat) had 2 catches for 24 yards and James Oncea (Rumson-FH) saw time on the offensive line as Johns Hopkins remained unbeaten with a 42-7 win over Ursinus.
---Running back Matt Pine (Freehold Twp.) had 3 carries for 9 yards, Mike Reilly (Howell) and Gerard Grimes (Pinelands) each had a tackle, Jack Fitzsimmons (Pt. Boro) started at linebacker but did not register a tackle, and wide receiver Chris Quinlan (Wall) saw time in Muhlenberg's 72-7 rout of Dickinson.
---Freshman Nick Pasquin (Raritan) had one kickoff return for 20 yards in Susquehanna's 20-10 win over Franklin & Marshall.
---Running back Matt Cathey (Brick Memorial) had 2 carries for 13 yards as well as a 19-yard catch, and linebacker Drew Scott (Brick) led the defensive effort with a team-high 8 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks in McDaniel's 20-13 win over Juniata. Defensive lineman Dan Finelli (Brick) added 2 tackles in the win.
---Defensive back James Taylor (Red Bank Catholic) had 5 tackles, including one for a loss, in Hamilton's 16-6 win over Williams. Taylor is third on the team with 40 tackles for the season and second with 5 tackles for a loss.
---Linebacker Chris Noesges (Manalapan) had a tackle and defensive back Logan Sheehan (Southern) saw time in Rowan's 24-14 loss to Frostburg State.
---Kean University picked up a 32-3 win over Southern Virginia with a host of Shore grads contributing. Tight end Kyle Rooney (Holmdel) had a 7-yard touchdown catch, punter Steve Ferlisi (Brick) averaged 34.8 yards per punt with three inside the opposing 20, including a punt downed at the one-yard line, defensive tackle Marquis Oliver (Lakewood) had 7 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, Chris Vurchio (Raritan) started at right tackle, Joe Bick (Manchester) started at left tackle, Austin Davis (Matawan) started at cornerback, and Chase Bright (Keyport), Amani Richardson (Manchester) and Liam Christensen (Central) all saw time in the win.
---Running back John DiStefano (Red Bank Catholic) went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season with 143 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries and also had a 10-yard catch in Montclair State's 37-14 loss to Wesley. Wide receiver Julanee Prince (St. John Vianney) had 4 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown, Jaedon Stephens (Asbury Park) added 2 catches for 8 yards, defensive lineman Jake Weber (Matawan) had 4 tackles, including half a sack, defensive lineman Nick Volpe (Colts Neck) had an interception, and Hunter Daly (Neptune) handled the kickoffs and averaged 42.5 yards on 6 punts, with one inside the opposing 20, and Anthony Dorsi (Red Bank Catholic) started at tight end for the Red Hawks. Tight end Tory Robinson (Howell) had one catch for minus-2 yards in the win for Wesley.
---Running back Danny Tighe (Pt. Beach) had 4 carries for 14 yards and defensive lineman Rich Kuhn (Brick Memorial) had a big day with 5 tackles for a loss and a sack to help Albright improve to 6-2 with a 33-9 win over Widener.
---Defensive back Jordan Billups (Jackson Liberty) had 5 tackles to help Wilkes pick up a 28-26 win over Lycoming.
---Quarterback Ajee Patterson (Neptune) was 14-for-23 for 144 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, defensive back Jeff Sheard (St. John Vianney) added a tackle and Ari Nwobi (Jackson Liberty) started at defensive tackle as New Haven rolled to a 35-0 win over American International. Running back Dahmiere Willis (Long Branch) had 3 carries for minus-one yard and Hunter Baillie (Long Branch) saw time on the defensive line in the loss for AIU.
---Defensive lineman Xavier Young (Barnegat) had a tackle in Stonehill's 30-6 loss to Assumption.
---Defensive back Tommy Leech (Brick) had one tackle, defensive lineman Robert Planter (Manchester) saw time and kicker Pat Davis (Lacey) had three kickoffs for 163 yards as Pace fell 35-17 to LIU Post.
---Defensive tackle Chris Kimbiz (Brick) saw time in Kutztown's 24-21 win over Shippensburg on a last-second field goal.
---Starting nosetackle Brad Greenway (Jackson Memorial) had 4 tackles, including half a tackle for a loss, in Bentley's 35-13 loss to Southern Connecticut.
---Running back Khani Glover (Jackson Memorial) had 11 carries for 45 yards, linebacker Connor Owen (Brick Memorial) had 6 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, linebacker James Bedell (Shore Regional) had a tackle and defensive lineman Erik Graham (Shore Regional) had a fumble recovery as The College of New Jersey picked up its first win of the season with a 42-28 victory over William Paterson. In the loss, Tyler Vivian (Shore Regional) had a catch for 9 yards and defensive back Pat Moran (Barnegat) had a game-high 12 tackles. Also, Connor Thomson (Keyport) started at center and Tyler Alvarez (Keyport) started at right tackle for William Paterson.
---Linebacker David Gutzmore (Neptune) had 8 tackles and an interception for Seton Hill in a 42-34 loss to Edinboro.