Jersey Mike’s Football Team of the Week: Middletown South
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 8 is Middletown South, which delivered a stout defensive performance to take down Rumson-Fair Haven, 14-7, in a marquee nondivisional matchup between two teams ranked in the Shore Sports Network Top 10. The SSN was at practice Tuesday to present the Eagles and head coach Steve Antonucci with a special game ball and a $500 Jersey Mike’s gift card.
Following a season-opening loss to Pennsylvania powerhouse Coatesville, Middletown South (6-2) had been rolling along until it was upset by St. John Vianney, 9-0, in Week 7. With the playoffs looming and postseason seeding on the line, the Eagles rebounded with their biggest win of the season.
Rumson went up 7-0 on the first drive of the game when it went 68 yards and got into the end zone on a touchdown run by senior running back Alex Maldjian, but Middletown South buckled down the rest of the way. A 1-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Trevor Brey with 4:00 left in the first half tied the score, 7-7, and another 1-yard touchdown run by Brey late in the third quarter gave the Eagles the lead for good.
Rumson entered the game ranked No. 3 in the SSN Top 10 while Middletown South was ranked No. 8.
Middletown South sealed the victory when senior linebacker Dylan Walling intercepted a pass that was deflected by fellow senior linebacker Matt Tardy. Walling had nine tackles plus the game-clinching interception late in the game, while Tardy had nine tackles with three quarterback pressures and the pass deflection that led to the interception.
Middletown South’s defense has been outstanding this season in allowing 13.1 points per game. A closer look at the numbers reveals it’s been an even better season for the Eagles. If you take out the 62 points allowed to Coatesville in Week 0, Middletown South has yielded just 43 points in seven games (6.1 ppg) with three shutouts. Tardy has a team-high 48 tackles along with five sacks while junior Matt Krellin leads the team with six sacks. Senior Troy Burbank has a team-best 11 tackles for loss and senior Jamie Petrillo has two interceptions.
Brey has led the Eagles' balanced offense with 763 yards passing and five touchdowns along with 228 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
The win over Rumson helped Middletown South earn the No. 2 seed in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 4 playoff bracket. The Eagles will open the postseason at home against Northern Burlington as they begin their quest for the program’s 11th state sectional championship.