Jersey Mike’s Football Team of the Week: Red Bank 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 Red Bank Catholic, which circled the wagons for its most important win of the season by defeating previously-undefeated and second-ranked Donovan Catholic, 27-16, in the Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week. Shore Sports Network was at practice on Tuesday to present the Caseys and head coach Frank Edgerly with a special game ball and a $500 Jersey Mike’s gift card.
Last Friday’s meeting between RBC and Donovan had several layers to it, beginning with the fact the host Griffins entered with a 7-0 record spearheaded by a dominant defense and had outscored its opponents 278-20. The Caseys, meanwhile, had been up and down one year removed from winning the Non-Public Group 3 state championship and came to Toms River sitting at 3-3. Then there was the question of how big a factor division competition would be. RBC plays in the American Division with No. 2 Toms River North, No. 3 Manalapan, No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven, Middletown South and Long Branch. Donovan had not played a top-10 team this season and cruised to the Liberty Division championship with wins over Lacey, Holmdel, Red Bank, Manasquan and Central Regional. To top it off, RBC was coming off a gut-wrenching 20-14 loss to Manalapan the week prior. For Donovan, three years removed from a winless season, this was the biggest game in program history, a chance to unseat a Shore Conference power and continue its ascent.
RBC was not about to let that happen on its watch.
Junior quarterback Anthony Borriello threw for 101 yards and a 37-yard touchdown to Notre Dame-bound senior tight end Kevin Bauman and later ran for a 31-yard touchdown, while senior running back Elijah Jules totaled 106 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Down 10-7 at halftime, the Caseys found their stride on offense with 20 straight points in the second half while the defense contained Donovan’s potent rushing attack.
Donovan struck first when Clark rumbled for a 19-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-3 midway through the first quarter. RBC tied the game midway through the second quarter when Jules capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. Donovan took a 10-7 lead into halftime when senior Keaon Torres connected on a 42-yard field goal, the second-longest in the Shore this season.
In the third quarter, RBC took the lead for good on a 20-yard touchdown run by Jules that was set up by a 39-yard pass from Borriello to sophomore Joe Diorio. After forcing a 3-and-out and taking over at the Donovan 38-yard line, RBC extended its lead to 21-10 when Bauman hauled in a 37-yard touchdown strike from Borriello on 4th-and-9.
A 31-yard touchdown run by Borriello early in the fourth quarter made it 27-10. Donovan scored with 2:21 left in the game when senior quarterback Ryan Clark connected with senior wideout Andre Laney on a 13-yard score.
Borriello threw for 101 yards and a touchdown on 3-for-3 passing and ran for 55 yards and a score, while Jules ran for 71 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and also had a 25-yard catch. Senior running back Billy Guidetti added 53 yards on the ground.
Senior linebacker Charlie Gordinier, junior defensive tackle Jake Louro and Bauman at defensive end led the charge for a Caseys defense that kept Donovan from mounting long drives or hitting big plays. Junior defensive back Lenny Loria also had a strong game with two pass breakups.
The victory could end up being the turning point of the season for Red Bank Catholic as it prepares to defend its state championship. The Caseys’ physical defense looked great and the offense put forth its highest scoring output of the season. Things may be coming together at the perfect time.
RBC will conclude the regular season on Friday night when it hosts Freehold Township (2-6). The Caseys are currently second in the Non-Public Group 3 United Power Ranking standings, but that bracket will be seeded by a committee and not solely by power ranking. A strong showing Friday night will certainly bolster their case for a top-two seed.