Jersey Mike’s Football Team of the Week: Mater Dei Prep
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 5 is Mater Dei Prep, which used a last-minute trick play to defeat Rumson-Fair Haven, 26-19, and earn a massive late-season victory in a matchup of top-five teams. Shore Sports Network was at practice Tuesday to present the Seraphs and head coach Dino Mangiero with a special game ball, a commemorative mini helmet courtesy of Tackle Depression and a $500 Jersey Mike’s gift card.
With under a minute left and Mater Dei trailing 19-18, the Seraphs authored the Mater Dei Miracle Part 2 with a 57-yard touchdown pass on a hook-and-lateral to take the lead. Junior quarterback Alex Brown connected with senior wide receiver Kody Gibbs, who then lateraled the ball to senior wide receiver Naran Buntin. The Kent State-bound wideout then sprinted the rest of the way to the end zone to give Mater Dei the lead and the dramatic victory.
Rumson had taken a 19-18 lead with 1:48 left on a 52-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Josh Harmon to senior tight end Luke Devlin.
Mater Dei led 6-0 at halftime on a 31-yard touchdown run by Gibbs on the first play of the second quarter. Rumson tied it 6-6 when Harmon ran for a 2-yard touchdown but Mater Dei answered immediately when Brown hit Kyree Drake for a 57-yard touchdown run to give the Seraphs a 12-6 lead with 5:43 left in the third quarter.
Rumson went in front, 13-12, when Harmon found Devlin for an 8-yard touchdown pass with 9:29 left in the game. Mater Dei re-took the lead, 18-13, on a 3-yard touchdown run by Ra'Jahn Cooper with 4:35 to play before the second touchdown from Harmon to Devlin put Rumson ahead by one.
Brown completed 9 of 13 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns, Buntin caught three passes for 84 yards and a touchdown and Drake caught three passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Cooper and Christian Buchanan had interceptions on defense.
The victory for Mater Dei moved it from No. 5 to No. 4 in the latest Shore Sports Network Top 10 as the Seraphs and Bulldogs swapped spots from the prior week. Mater Dei is the consensus No. 4 team in the Shore and that is especially significant because the top four teams are expected to be placed in the same postseason pod to compete for an unofficial Shore Conference championship.
Since a 10-3 loss to Red Bank Catholic to open the season, Mater Dei has won four straight games and positioned itself to once again be a championship contender in the final weeks of the season. The Seraphs will look to cement their position in the final four when they take on Manalapan (0-3) on Friday night.
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.
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