Jersey Mike’s Football Team of the Week: Wall Township
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.
Here at Shore Sports Network, our policy has been to spread the wealth and limit a team to one Team of the Week award per season, but we’ve made an exception this week for obvious reasons.
The Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week for Week 4 is Wall, which shocked the Shore Conference when it took down non-public juggernaut Mater Dei Prep, 14-7, for a monumental victory that propelled the Crimson Knights to the No. 1 spot in the Shore Sports Network Top 10. Shore Sports Network was at practice Tuesday to present the Crimson Knights and head coach Tony Grandinetti with a special game ball to commemorate the victory. Since Wall received the award after Week 2 and was presented a $500 Jersey Mike’s gift card, this week’s gift card will go to the Wall cheerleaders for their support of the football program.
Junior running back Casey Larkin scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:06 left in regulation and junior Logan Peters came away with a game-clinching interception as the Crimson Knights rallied to defeat the Seraphs and put an end to their 21-game regular-season winning streak against Shore Conference teams.
Starting at their own 28-yard line with 5:17 left in the game, Wall drove for the game-winning touchdown thanks to a pair of big plays. Larkin had a 24-yard run on third-and-six that moved the ball into Mater Dei territory and senior wide receiver Gus Setteducato then came down with an acrobatic 29-yard reception down to the 2-yard line, catching a pass while falling down after it was tipped by Larkin.
After Larkin's touchdown made it 12-7, Peters connected with sophomore tight end Blake Rezk for the 2-point conversion and a 14-7 lead. Mater Dei was tasked with driving for the tying score with just 58 seconds left in the game, but on first down, Rezk sacked Alex Brown for an 11-yard loss. On the next play, Peters got a read on a pass over the middle and dived forward to collect the interception and clinch the victory.
Larkin ran for 65 yards and a touchdown and senior running back Matt DeSarno ran for 52 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The extra point was blocked on DeSarno's touchdown run. Mater Dei answered on the next series when Ingram scored from three yards out to cap a 58-yard drive. Richie Pekmezian added the extra point to give Mater Dei a 7-6 lead.
The score would remain 7-6 until Wall drove for the winning touchdown thanks to the Crimson Knights tenacious defense, which was outstanding in holding Mater Dei star running back Malik Ingram to just 70 yards rushing on 13 carries. The Crimson Knights also limited Brown to 10 of 20 passing for 135 yards and two interceptions.
Rezk had two sacks and also had a fumble recovery as Wall forced three turnovers. Sophomore linebacker Charlie Sasso made eight tackles and had an interception, senior defensive back Dale McNally made 10 tackles, senior defensive end Ian Ackerman had five tackles and one tackle for loss, sophomore linebacker Colin Riley recorded six tackles and one sack and senior safety Jaden Carrasquillo also had a sack.
Wall’s perfect first half of the season also includes wins over No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven and No. 10 Jackson Memorial plus victories over Middletown North and Freehold. The Crimson Knights will look to keep their momentum going when they make the short drive to take on Brick Memorial (1-4) on Friday night.