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Every week this fall, Jersey Mike’s and Shore Sports Network will team up to select a Shore Conference Football Team of the Week based on its performance over the past weekend.

The Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week for Week 1 is Freehold Township, which bounced back from a Week 0 defeat in a big way by knocking off then-No. 12 Red Bank Regional, 28-13, behind a dynamic offense that combined for 500 yards on the ground and through the air. Shore Sports Network stopped by practice on Wednesday night to present the Patriots and head coach Cory Davies with a special game ball and a $500 Jersey Mike's gift card.

Steve Meyer
Steve Meyer

The Patriots fell to Middletown North, 45-21, in Week 0, allowing 24 unanswered points in the second half after the teams entered halftime tied at 21. Their second game took on additional importance coming off that loss and presented an opportunity to pick up a victory before beginning Independence Division play. In their way was a Red Bank team that entered the season ranked 12th in the Shore Sports Network Shore 16 and returning multiple key players coming off a 7-4 season.

The Freehold Township offense was the story in the Patriots' 28-13 inter-divisional triumph and leading the way was junior quarterback Nick Cardone, who completed 15 of 30 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 85 yards on eight carries. Senior receiver GianPaul Cortes had a career-high 158 yards on four catches while senior Nick Carnevale and junior Jaylen Gil-Anderson hauled in touchdown passes. Cardone completed passes to six different receivers.

The Air Raid/spread offenses conducted by Davies throughout his coaching career have produced plenty of big-number performances. What is more encouraging is that Freehold Township's running game rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns on an average of 7.8 yards per carry. In addition to Cardone's yardage, senior running back Sebastian Andujar ran for 102 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries and senior Nick Whisten added 23 yards and a touchdown. If the Patriots can achieve that level of balance it will make their offense a pain to deal with all season.

Freehold Township's defense responded well after allowing 45 points in Week 0 to hold RBR to just two touchdowns. Senior Iziah Young made a team-high 12 tackles (8 solo) with one tackle for loss while Carnevale had an interception and Cortes picked off a pass and also blocked a kick.

While it's still very early in the season, Freehold Township's Week 1 victory showed that it can be a contender within an Independence Division that also includes No. 11 Brick Memorial (2-0), Brick (2-0), Freehold Boro (1-0), Barnegat (0-2), and Matawan (0-2). The Patriots open division play this Friday with an intriguing game vs. a Matawan team that started the season ranked in the top 10 but has lost two straight to open the season. Those losses were to Cedar Creek, one of South Jersey's top teams, and No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven, however. The Huskies have some dangerous offensive weapons and one of the Shore's top two-way linemen, so it will be a challenging road contest for Freehold Township against a team with its back against the wall.



Week 0 - Manalapan



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