Jersey Mike’s Football Team of the Week: Lacey
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 9 is Lacey, which advanced to the NJSIAA Central, Group 3 state semifinals with a 35-15 road victory over Burlington Township. Shore Sports Network stopped by practice to present the Lions and head coach Lou Vircillo with a special game ball and a $500 Jersey Mike’s gift card.
After a 6-3 regular season, Lacey entered the postseason as the No. 5 seed in the Central, Group 3 section and drew a road game against fourth-seeded Burlington Township. The Lions jumped on the Falcons early when sophomore quarterback Noah Brunatti threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Bobby Evans. Burlington answered immediately by returning the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown, but the special teams score did not shake the Lions. Lacey would respond with the next three touchdowns to take control of the game.
Junior running back Tynan Jensen gave Lacey a 14-7 lead with an 8-yard touchdown run before Brunatti and Evans combined for another aerial score, this time from 33 yards out, to forge a 21-7 halftime lead. After a scoreless third quarter, Lacey’s lead grew to 28-7 when Jensen scored on a 9-yard run. Burlington got back on the board to make it a two-score game with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion, but Lacey punched back when Jensen broke a 56-yard touchdown run to clinch the program’s first playoff win since 2012.
Jensen ran for 139 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries, averaging 6.6 yards per attempt. Brunatti completed 12 of 15 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Evans, who caught three passes for 76 yards. Senior Mike Kudlacik provided offensive versatility with 10 carries for 77 yards and two receptions for 54 yards.
On the defensive side, Jensen intercepted a pass, Kudlacik and sophomore Andrew Tobia each forced fumbles and juniors Austin Chadwick and Nicholas Povia recovered said fumbles.
This week, Lacey faces its biggest challenge yet as it travels to Monmouth County to take on the top seed and the No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, undefeated Wall (9-0). The Crimson Knights defeated Allentown, 49-7, in the quarterfinals. The Lions will try to shock the state and reach their first sectional championship game since 2010 when they went 12-0 and won the program’s fourth sectional title.
Lacey is our final Team of the Week recipient for the 2019 season. We would like to congratulate all 10 of the winners and once again thank Jersey Mike’s for its continued support of Shore Conference athletics.