Jersey Mike’s Week 2 Shore Conference Football Team of the Week: Middletown South
Every week this fall, Jersey Mike’s and Shore Sports Network will be teaming up to select the 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 2 is Middletown South, which rallied in the fourth quarter for a dramatic 17-14 victory over Manalapan. Shore Sports Network stopped by practice on Tuesday to present the Eagles and head coach Steve Antonucci with a special game ball and a $500 Jersey Mike's gift card.
Manalapan, which entered the game ranked No. 8 in The Jeep Store Football Top 10, grabbed a quick 7-0 and held that advantage through the third quarter. No. 3 Middletown South got on the board early in the fourth quarter when Jake Czwakiel connected on a 27-yard field goal to cut the Braves' lead to 7-3. After struggling through the first three quarters, Middletown South's offense came to life over the final 12 minutes and the Eagles took a 10-7 lead with 3:29 left when junior running back Donovan Summey scored on an 18-yard touchdown run on fourth and 3.
Manalapan, however, answered immediately when Anthony Macchio returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to give the Braves a 14-10 lead with 3:13 on the clock.
Czwakiel, who finished with 221 combined passing (128) and rushing (93) yards for the game, started the go-ahead scoring drive with a 10-yard pass to Beau Servidio. Two plays later, Czwakiel dumped a pass off to Quinn Curley in the left flat and Curley raced 43 yards to the Manalapan 25-yard line. Four plays later with the ball now on the 8-yard line with under 40 seconds to play, Summey took a swing pass and scored the deciding touchdown with 32 seconds left in the game.
While the offense took a while to get going before scoring 14 points in the final 3:30 of the game, the Middletown South defense was exceptional. Manalapan's first drive produced points, but from there the Eagles kept the Braves off the scoreboard and allowed the comeback to materialize. Junior linebacker Colin Gallagher was dominant yet again with 3 sacks and 5 tackles for loss among his 16 total tackles and sophomore linebacker Luke Wafle also had a big game with 1.5 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, and 8 total tackles.
Middletown South is now 2-0 with a pair of wins over ranked teams - 23-13 over No. 7 Long Branch in Week 1 followed by the thrilling win over now-No. 6 Manalapan. This weekend, the Eagles will take their shot at No. 1 Red Bank Catholic when the unbeaten Caseys (3-0) head to The Swamp on Friday night for a mammoth matchup between Shore Conference juggernauts.