Football – No. 4 St. John Vianney Shuts Down Red Bank, Earns Second Shutout
By Ella Brockway - Student Contributor
HOLMDEL – The St. John Vianney Lancers stretched their winning streak against Shore Conference teams to 23 games with a 37-0 takedown of Red Bank Friday night. The Vianney defense held the Bucs to just 67 yards of offense in the Class A Central matchup.
“They’re tough, they’re hard-nosed and when I asked them to play fast, they played fast,” St. John Vianney head coach Derek Sininsky said of his defense, which held the Bucs offense to only one trip to the red zone during the entire game. “Our kids were flying around out here tonight, and the hits were coming. They were bringing it.”
Senior lineman Ed Sheridan finished with a team-high six tackles, while Dominick Spano and Johnny Buchanan each had four tackles on the game.
Buchanan also played a key part in Vianney’s offensive performance, finishing with 64 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The junior split time at the running back position with senior Villanova recruit Chris Chukwuneke, who finished with 110 yards on 14 carries.
“We needed (Buchanan and Chukwuneke) to get those three-yard, four-yard, hard-nosed carries in the open field in between the tackles,” said Sininsky. “By them running the ball hard like that, it fits into our whole philosophy of playing old-school football.”
That philosophy was on display from the first kickoff, as the Lancers controlled the ball for the first 7:08 of the first quarter. The first score of the game came on an 18-yard pass on fourth down from junior quarterback Haaziq Daniels to junior wide receiver Samuel East. After recovering their own kickoff at the Red Bank 21-yard line, the Lancers began another drive and again converted on fourth down on a 15-yard pass from senior quarterback Matt DeGennaro to slotback Pedro Braga.
DeGennaro and Daniels split time under center for Vianney for much of the game. DeGennaro finished with 120 passing yards on eight completions and three touchdowns, while Daniels threw for 38 yards and one touchdown.
“I don’t watch the offense too much, but Matt and Haaziq both did what we expected them to do,” said Sininsky. “They both have their own strengths and their own identity, and it might throw the defense off a little, so that throws in a benefit for us.”
The Vianney defense held the Bucs to just 3:57 time of possession in the second quarter, and thwarted Red Bank’s lone attempt at a score on a missed field goal from Bucs kicker Joe Flynn. A monster stop from senior lineman and Rutgers recruit Micah Clark on a Red Bank fourth-and-two with 6:50 left in the first half prevented any opportunities for the Bucs to move the ball.
“Our whole defense was just playing like a bunch of crazed dogs,” said running back Johnny Buchanan. “The line is the most important position on the field, and my touchdowns were their touchdowns.”
The Lancers defense maintained the hard-nosed front for the rest of the game, as Buchanan intercepted a Chris Brannagan pass attempt less than two minutes into the second half, and Dominick Spano recovered a Red Bank fumble with 6:02 left in the third quarter, setting up a drive that ended with a William Foreman field goal to put Vianney up 24-0.
Vianney’s final two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, the first on a 13-yard pass from DeGennaro to Buchanan, and the second on a seven-yard run by Buchanan.
“We’re not quite there offensively yet,” said Sininsky. “But our whole philosophy was there tonight: play hard-nosed defense and run the football. That was black-and-blue football right there.”
Red Bank will face Holmdel at home next week. St. John Vianney travels on the road next to face a competitive Brick Township team on September 30.
Red Bank – Noah Mickens: 3-12, Tyrese Morris: 2-13, Chris Brannagan: 5-4, Jalen Willis: 1-(6), Ka’Shaun Turner: 2-(-10), Chris Outterbridge: 2-(-5), Dontrell Alston: 2-2, Total: 16 yards
St. John Vianney – Chris Chukwuneke: 14-110, Zyaire Sterling: 1-5, Matt DeGennaro: 1-3, Johnny Buchanan - 9-64, Haaziq Daniels: 2-4, Total: 186 yards
Red Bank – Chris Brannagan: 6-10-1-51 Total: 51 yards
St. John Vianney – Haaziq Daniels: 6-15-0-38, Matt DeGennaro: 8-13-0-158 Total: 196 yards
Red Bank – Jalen Willis: 2-9, Nick Arnone: 2-19, Danny Wagner: 1-23
St. John Vianney – Chris Chukwuneke: 1-10, Zyaire Sterling: 9-45, Johnny Buchanan: 1-13, Samuel East: 1-18, Alexander Calabro: 1-15, Pedro Braga: 1-15
Tackles (top three)
Red Bank – Chris Outterbridge: 8, Jack Haytaian: 7, Noah Mickens: 3
St. John Vianney – Edward Sheridan: 6, Dominick Spano: 4, Johnny Buchanan: 4
Red Bank – none
St. John Vianney: Johnny Buchanan 1-12
1Q: Vianney – Haaziq Daniels 18-yard pass to Samuel East (William Foreman kick)
1Q: Vianney – Matt DeGennaro 15-yard pass to Pedro Braga (William Foreman kick)
2Q: Vianney – Matt DeGennaro 60-yard pass to Zyaire Sterling (William Foreman kick)
3Q: Vianney – William Foreman field goal
4Q: Vianney – Matt DeGennaro 13-yard pass to Johnny Buchanan (kick failed)
4Q: Vianney – Johnny Buchanan 7-yard run (William Foreman kick)