No. 1 Red Bank Catholic vs. No. 3 Donovan Catholic is The Week 9 Block GameDay Countdown Game of the Week
The final No. 1 ranking in the Shore Conference could be decided on Friday night at Count Basie Field in Red Bank and the Shore Sports Network will be on hand when top-ranked Red Bank Catholic clashes with No. 3 Donovan Catholic in The Block GameDay Countdown Game of the Week.
This will be the final game against a Shore Conference team for undefeated Red Bank Catholic before the NJSIAA Non-Public B state playoffs and a win over the visiting Griffins would cement their status as the No. 1 team in the Shore. The Caseys are coming off an impressive 47-7 victory over No. 6 Manalapan last week where senior quarterback Alex Brown accounted for four total touchdowns to lead the way.
The Caseys' offense enters averaging over 36 points per game with multiple playmakers for opposing offenses to deal with. Brown has thrown for 1,258 yards and 14 touchdowns with just two interceptions while completing 67 percent of his throws for an offense that is averaging 36.6 points per game. He has also rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Najih Rahman has a team-high 29 catches for 470 yards and three touchdowns and senior tight end Alex Bauman has 21 catches for 385 yards and six touchdowns. The Caseys' multi-back rushing attack has produced 1,808 yards and 24 touchdowns for an average of 226 yards per game. Junior tailback Sabino Portella has a team-high 648 yards rushing and nine touchdowns, senior Rajahn Cooper has 316 yards and four touchdowns and junior Torin Harmon has 316 yards and two touchdowns on just 26 carries.
RBC also boasts arguably the Shore's top defense and is allowing just 7.1 points per game. Bauman has been outstanding from his defensive end spot with 46 tackles, 5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble. Sophomore linebacker Davin Brewton has a team-leading 63 tackles along with nine tackles for loss and two sacks, senior defensive end Ryan McPherson has three sacks and nine tackles for loss, senior Connor Wanagiel also has three sacks, and Aidan Donohue has two sacks. Senior cornerback Joe Diorio leads the Caseys with two interceptions.
Donovan Catholic has its own impressive group of offensive weapons, led by senior dual-threat quarterback Jalin Butler. The strong-armed and fleet-of-foot senior has thrown for 820 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 732 yards and seven touchdowns on an average of 10.2 yards per carry. Senior running back Nunes Bukula IV has a team-high 865 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on an average of 8.4 yards per carry. One of the most dangerous players in the Shore is senior wide receiver Kyree Drak with his ability to take it the distance on any play. Drake has caught 22 passes for 395 yards and five touchdowns and also rushed for 282 yards and five touchdowns on an average of 16.6 yards per carry.
Donovan Catholic's defense has a trio of outstanding linebackers in seniors Nat Iannello and Connor Farrell and junior Dante Vernieri, although Farrell is injured at the moment. Iannello has a team-high 121 tackles and is tied for the team lead with three sacks. Vernieri is having an incredible season with 95 tackles and five interceptions, four of which he has returned the other way for touchdowns. Sophomore Hunter Johnson has also played well with 46 tackles and a team-leading five tackles for loss. The Griffins are strong in the trenches with senior defensive tackle Nico Ippolito and senior defensive end Levi Wilkins leading the way and their secondary also features Myrun Rush-Esdaile along with Butler, Drake and sophomore Ethan Mathieu.
Friday night's game will also be a display of two of the Shore Conference's best offensive lines. Senior Purdue commit Vince Carpenter leads RBC and senior Caron McNair leads Donovan up front.
Revenge will be on the Caseys' minds, as well, after Donovan ended their season last year with a 28-14 win in the Shore Conference semifinals.
Each Friday during the season the Shore Sports Network will highlight one game at which Ed Sarluca will do live segments before, during, and after the game on our Shore Sports Network Facebook page. In addition, we will award an MVP to the game’s top player who will be interviewed on the field as part of our Facebook coverage.
This weekly segment is presented by The Butcher’s Block in Long Branch which will re-open soon following an extensive renovation that includes a full bar. Owned and operated by former Monmouth Regional quarterback Tommy D’Ambrisi, The Block has quickly become a Jersey Shore favorite, especially for streak lovers.
As part of the GameDay Countdown, those attending the game are invited to look for the Shore Sports Network SUV and sign up to win dinner for six with limo transportation to The Block at the end of the season. This promotion will end in November (TBD) with our final Friday night appearance. The contest is open to those 18 years and older.
1. No Purchase Required to Enter or Win
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10. General Conditions: In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Giveaway is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, or other technical problem, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Giveaway to address the impairment and then resume the Giveaway in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (b) award the prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to individuals it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Giveaway or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Giveaway may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In case of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the screen name from which the entry is made. The authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.
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