Jersey Mike’s Football Team of the Week: Toms River North
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 3 is Toms River North, which came out on top in an instant classic by defeating Rumson-Fair Haven, 22-21 in double overtime, when it successfully converted a game-deciding two-point conversion. Shore Sports Network was at practice on Tuesday to present the Mariners and head coach Dave Oizerowitz with a special game ball and a $500 Jersey Mike’s gift card.
The Mariners traveled north to Rumson on Friday, Sept. 27 for a pivotal Shore Conference American Division game with the Bulldogs. Toms River North entered the game ranked No. 6 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 while the Rumson checked in at No. 3. Scoreless after one quarter, Toms River North struck first when junior quarterback Jake Kazanowsky connected with senior Ray Carlson on a 67-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Toms River North held that 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter when a 2-yard touchdown run by sophomore Geoff Schroeder tied the game at seven and began a wild string of events. The Mariners took a 14-7 lead on an 8-yard touchdown reception by junior Zach Goodale and appeared poised to win in regulation when they stopped Rumson on downs with 1:08 left in the game. Rumson, however, used all three of its timeouts to stop Toms River North and get the ball back at its own 36-yard line with 41 seconds to play.
Rumson quickly moved into Toms River North territory and a 22-yard completion from Collin Coles to Luke Devlin followed by a pass interference call on Toms River North put the ball at the 6-yard line with nine seconds on the clock. On first down, Coles lofted a pass for junior Patrick Jamin, who made a great diving, over-the-shoulder catch for the touchdown. The extra point by Michael Piperno sent the game to overtime.
Toms River North had the ball first but momentum quickly shifted when senior linebacker Gordon Forsyth intercepted Kazanowsky to end the Mariners’ possession. Rumson then moved the ball to the TRN 2-yard line and looked like it was going to come away with the win on a short field goal. The 20-yard field goal was good, but Toms River North had called a timeout just before the snap. On the second attempt, the Mariners blocked the field goal to keep the game going.
Now in double overtime, Rumson took a 21-14 lead when Coles threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to David Livingston. Toms River North had to respond and did on third-and-13 when Carlson made a terrific one-handed catch on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Kazanowsky. The Mariners were an extra point away from tying the game, but Oizerowitz decided to go for two and the win. Kazanowsky threw for the end zone and the pass deflected off a Rumson defender’s hands and into the arms of senior wideout Dominick Jacob, who hauled in the reception to give the Mariners an incredible 22-21 victory.
Kazanowsky threw for 293 yards and, despite, throwing three interceptions, made clutch throws down the stretch. Carlson played wide receiver for the first time and had a career game with five receptions for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
The win moved Toms River North up to No. 3 in the latest Jeep Store/SSN Top 10. The Mariners are 4-0 and in first place in the American Division but have no time to relax as they host Red Bank Catholic (2-2) on Friday night in our Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week.