Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey Football Player of the Week: Red Bank Catholic’s Nick Brusca
Every week this regular season, Shore Conference football fans will have their chance to vote for the Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey/Shore Sports Network Football Player of the Week on our website, with over 85,000 votes cast already this season.
The Week 6 winner of the Player of the Week poll is Red Bank Catholic junior quarterback Nick Brusca, who had a career day with 206 yards passing and four touchdowns, plus 42 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Caseys' 35-20 Shore Conference Class B North win over Long Branch to improve to 4-2.
Brusca had a 10-yard touchdown to Max Hazard, ran for a 4-yard score and tossed an 18-yard touchdown to Brandon Lombana in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter he had an 8-yard touchdown pass to Matt Ansell, and finished off his breakout passing game with a 58-yard scoring strike to Jaden Key.
Brusca started the season as a running back, but with injuries to both Steve Lubischer and Tommy Lang, Brusca was forced to switch positions and become the Caseys' quarterback. He started out with mainly zone-read running plays with tailback Zack Bair, but the playbook has grown each week as he becomes more comfortable with the position. He entered the Week 6 game against Long Branch with just 22 passing yards, so his eruption through the air increased his season yardage tenfold. He has rushed for 394 yards and five touchdowns this season, averaging 7.3 yards per carry.
Brusca will try to keep it going in Week 7 when Red Bank Catholic takes on No. 4 St. John Vianney.
Brusca garnered 47.28 percent of the vote to beat out Holmdel sophomore running back Dean Gallo, who keyed the Hornets' 19-15 win over Manchester with 143 yards rushing and two touchdowns. St. John Vianney's Johnny Buchanan was third, followed by Middletown North's Brendan Kube and Freehold's Ashante Worthy.