Football – QB George Pearson Returns to the Shore Conference at Mater Dei Prep
Rising junior quarterback George Pearson has returned to the Shore Conference, transferring from St. Joseph Regional in Montvale to Mater Dei Prep.
Pearson played his first two seasons at Matawan, leading the Huskies to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III title as a freshman in 2014. Last season he missed multiple games due to injury, but was still able to throw for over 1,200 yards and guide Matawan to the Central Jersey Group III semifinals.
The transfer was first reported by NJ.com's Todderick Hunt and later confirmed to Shore Sports Network by Mater Dei Prep athletic director Dennis Tobin.
Pearson transferred to perennial power St. Joe's in February and joined a program that has won 17 sectional titles. The Green Knights have long ruled the Non-Public Group III state playoff bracket, but were aligned to Non-Public Group IV last season with the likes of Don Bosco Prep, Bergen Catholic, St. Peter's Prep and Paramus Catholic. St. Joe's is back in Non-Public Group III this season.
As a freshman at Matawan, Pearson started in 11 of 12 games in leading the Huskies to their seventh sectional title. He threw for 1,956 yards and 16 touchdowns, including going 11-of-15 for 201 yards and four touchdowns in a 27-7 win over Carteret in the sectional final. He is believed to be the only freshman to quarterback a Shore Conference team to a state championship.
Injuries limited him to eight games as a sophomore, and he finished with 1,277 yards and eight touchdowns. Matawan started the season 0-3, but won seven straight games upon Pearson’s return to reach the Central Jersey Group III semifinals where the Huskies fell to eventual champion Rumson-Fair Haven.
Now at Mater Dei, Pearson and rising senior wide receiver Eddie Lewis form one of the most potent quarterback-receiver combos in the Shore Conference. Lewis was an SSN Third-Team All-Shore selection last season and, despite missing three games due to injury, led the Seraphs with 31 receptions for 449 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also had a team-high four interceptions and added 19 tackles and one sack as a defensive back. He is a three-star recruit with several FBS offers, and has narrowed his top three to Indiana, Rutgers and Syracuse, according to his Twitter page.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Pearson is being recruited as a pro-stye quarterback. He has a scholarship offer from Temple and interest from other FBS programs.
Pearson adds to what will be a new-look Mater Dei football program this season. The Seraphs hired longtime Poly Prep (NY) head coach and six-year NFL veteran Dino Mangiero as head coach in April, and he brought much of his staff with him to Mater Dei.
Mater Dei went 3-7 last season, but in 2014 went 8-3 to tie the program record for wins while also reaching the Non-Public Group I semifinals. The Seraphs have never won an NJSIAA title and their only state championship came in South Jersey Parochial B in 1969. Pearson's addition is one of many this offseason, and brings Mater Dei closer to their first title.