Jersey Mike’s Football Team of the Week: Donovan Catholic
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 7 is Donovan Catholic, which earned one of the most important victories in program history when it defeated Red Bank Catholic, 28-14, in the NJSIAA Postseason Groupings Shore Conference Pod A semifinals. Shore Sports Network was at practice Tuesday to present the Griffins and head coach Dan Curcione with a special game ball, a commemorative mini helmet courtesy of Tackle Depression and a $500 Jersey Mike’s gift card.
The Griffins are ranked No. 2 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 and squared off with the No. 3 Caseys in a huge game last Friday. Donovan has been searching for a signature win against one of the Shore Conference’s elite programs to stamp its ascent into the same category. The Griffins’ latest opportunity was against a Red Bank Catholic program which denied them that sought-after win last season. This time, Donovan came through.
Senior quarterback Evyn Menta completed 14 of 16 passes for 128 yards and four touchdowns and senior wide receiver and defensive back Jayon Farrar had a huge game with 10 receptions for 96 yards and three touchdowns, a 2-point conversion run and an interception on defense. Senior tight end Ethan Capone also had a touchdown catch and senior running back Jahdir Loftland ran for 160 yards on 30 carries.
Donovan took a 7-0 lead on Menta's 7-yard touchdown pass to Capone before RBC tied the score on a 67-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Anthony Borriello to sophomore wideout Najih Rahman. Donovan went ahead, 14-7, when Menta connected with Farrar on a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal, and the Griffins took that lead into halftime.
A touchdown run by RBC sophomore running back Sabino Portella on the opening drive of the second half tied the score at 14. Donovan then grabbed a 20-14 lead early in the fourth quarter when Menta hit Farrar for a 5-yard touchdown. A clutch fourth-down stop at midfield by Donovan with 6:30 to play led to Farrar hauling in a 51-yard touchdown on the next play. He then ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Griffins a 28-14 lead.
2020 has been a fantastic year for Donovan as the Griffins are 7-0 and have several players putting forth huge seasons. Loftland is second in the Shore with 1,242 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, Farrar has 38 receptions for 563 yards and nine touchdowns and Menta has thrown for 1,051 yards and 13 touchdowns. Donovan also has one of the Shore’s best defensive units with senior linebackers Dominick Nocero and Quamire Green among the leading tacklers in the Shore along with additional standouts such as junior linebackers Nat Iannello and Connor Farrell, junior defensive end Levi Wilkins, junior defensive tackle Nico Ippolito and Capone at defensive end.
Now comes the ultimate challenge and opportunity for Donovan Catholic. The Griffins will travel to Wall Township on Friday night to take on No. 1 Wall in a mammoth battle that has been highly-anticipated all season. The winner between the only two undefeated teams in the Shore can stake its claim as the best team in the Shore Conference and the first, albeit unofficial, Shore Conference football champion.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.