Beacon 70 Football Player of the Week: Matawan’s Dennis Buonagura
Every week this season, Shore Conference football fans will have their chance to vote for the Beacon 70/Shore Sports Network Football Player of the Week on our website.
The Week 1 Player of the Week is Matawan senior quarterback Dennis Buonagura, who had a career-best performance to lead the Huskies to a thrilling victory over Ocean to start the season. Buonagura and all Player of the Week winners this season will receive a $25 Beacon 70 gift card.
In a 28-27 victory over the Spartans, Buonagura led the Huskies with a career-high 320 yards passing and four touchdowns, including three in the fourth quarter, as Matawan rallied from a 20-7 deficit entering the final quarter. Buonagura threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Dante Stevenson in the first quarter but Ocean scored twice to take a 13-7 lead and added another touchdown in the second quarter for a 20-7 halftime lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, Buonagura and the Huskies took over. He tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Halliburton to pull Matawan to within 20-13. A 38-yard touchdown pass to BrianCharles Gagneron tied the score at 20 before a second touchdown pass to Halliburton from five yards plus a 2-point conversion run by David Onuoha accounted for the winning points.
The season-opening victory marks the first time Matawan is 1-0 since 2013.
Matawan returns to action on Saturday afternoon when it travels down Route 79 to face Marlboro in the Mustangs' season-opening game.
Buonagura was the runaway winner of the first Player of the Week poll, garnering a whopping 62 percent of all votes cast. Manalapan's EJ Marquez was second followed by Colts Neck's Tommy Fallon, Southern's Jaiden Brown and Barnegat's JoJo Bivins.