Path of Destruction: Ingram runs wild, defense dominates as No. 1 Mater Dei rolls past No. 5 St. John Vianney
HOLMDEL – They tried to hit him high and they tried to hit him low, they stacked the box and tweaked their fronts, but none of the adjustments made any difference. Malik Ingram was simply unstoppable on Friday night.
The Mater Dei Prep senior running back turned in a game for the ages with 310 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 31 carries to spearhead a dominant performance by the Seraphs, ranked No. 1 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, as they shut out No. 5 St. John Vianney, 35-0, in a Shore Conference Colonial Division clash.
Ingram showcased his entire arsenal of skills out of the backfield by running through, over and around St. John Vianney defenders. He had 176 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone and nearly matched that over the final two quarters. His runs were violent and breathtaking, and the aftermath was often a pile of defenders in his wake.
“It was fun, man, I don’t really know how else to explain it,” Ingram said. “I just played my fullest. You have to credit my O-line for blocking.”
“He’s had some games like that and we told him he was going to carry it about 30 times today,” said Mater Dei head coach Dino Mangiero. “He’s been doing that ever since he’s been here.”
Ingram’s overpowering effort had everybody in attendance not wearing black and gold buzzing about his performance. Even some of the sideline officials were inquiring about how many yards he had. Mangiero has seen it all during his time as a player and coach, but even he marveled at Ingram’s unique abilities.
“He is an exciting guy and runs very low to the ground,” Mangiero said. “He has the best balance of any back I’ve ever had. I’ve had tailbacks go to Wisconsin and Notre Dame and a lot of big schools but no one is a foot off the ground and can maintain his balance in a powerful position like this kid. He’s really a special player.”
Sophomore wide receiver Kyree Drake added a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, with an assist from Ingram, of course, who had runs of 25 and 31 yards on a four-play, 70-yard drive that capped the scoring. The Seraphs ran for 346 yards on an average of 8.9 yards per carry and totaled 464 yards of offense with sophomore quarterback Alex Brown completing 8 of 12 passes for 118 yards.
Check back for more images from the game.
Ingram’s game overshadowed everything, but Mater Dei’s defense was equally as dominant. St. John Vianney came into Friday averaging 40 points a game in wins over Middletown South and Brick but barely cracked the 100-yard mark and gained just eight first downs. Senior defensive end Khurram Simpson and junior defensive lineman Dominick Giudice each recorded two sacks and senior defensive back Isaiah Noguera pulled down an interception. The Seraphs held St. John Vianney to 104 yards, including just 27 yards rushing.
“We were looking forward to coming in and showing how good we really are,” Simpson said. “Our coaches made a great game plan and we came in here and just dominated.”
“I thought our defensive coaches did a great job, they put our kids in great positions,” Mangiero said. “We knew this kid (SJV quarterback CJ Duell) likes to run around and we had to contain him. It was a really good game plan, I thought, and the kids bought into it and that’s the result you get.”
Mater Dei sent a message immediately with a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive to open the game. Ingram was dropped for a 1-yard loss on the first play from scrimmage but would recover just fine. The Seraphs converted a third-and-8 when Brown hit Noguera for 13 yards, and Ingram ran for 25 yards on the next play to put the ball at the SJV 40-yard line. On fourth-and-1 from the 19-yard line, Ingram burst up the middle and scored to give the Seraphs a 7-0 lead.
SJV went three-and-out on its first possession and then came up with a defensive stop of its own when Blake Clayton had a tackle for loss and a sack on consecutive plays to force Mater Dei to punt. It was only a matter of time before the Seraphs got back into the end zone, however.
Mater Dei took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter with a nine-play, 85-yard drive. Ingram had runs of 21, 15 and 15 yards before breaking a 17-yard touchdown run and putting himself at 142 yards rushing on 14 carries just 14 minutes into the game.
Sacks by Simpson and Giudice squashed St. John Vianney’s next possession and gave Mater Dei the ball back at its own 49-yard line. A tough 12-yard reception by Notre Dame-bound senior Clarence Lewis and then a 16-yard run by Ingram moved the ball to the SJV 19-yard line. The Seraphs eventually earned a first-and-goal from the 4-yard line but couldn’t punch it in thanks to a personal foul penalty that occurred after a short run by Ingram on second down. It was now third-and-goal from the 20 and Mater Dei came up three yards short on a 12-yard pass to Naran Buntin on fourth-and-goal from the 15.
After the teams traded punts to begin the second half, Mater Dei stretched its lead to 21-0 with a six-play, 71-yard drive. Brown had consecutive 18-yard completions to Drake and Ingram and Ingram had had runs of 13 and 18 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown surge.
SJV put together its best drive on the next series as Duell led the Lancers to the Mater Dei 26-yard line, but consecutive negative plays on a tackle for loss by Giudice and a sack by Simpson brought up third-and-17. On fourth down, Duell’s heave for the end zone was intercepted by Noguera.
Mater Dei then put together another long drive in marching 80 yards in just six plays. Brown connected with Lewis for a 36-yard gain on first down and then scrambled for 15 yards to move the ball to the 29-yard line. A 25-yard run by Ingram put the ball at the 4-yard line and Ingram punched it in with another 1-yard touchdown plunge for a 28-0 lead.
A long kick return by Warren Griffith gave SJV a start at the Mater Dei 44-yard line on its next drive, but the Lancers moved just 14 yards before turning the ball over on downs at the 30-yard line. From there, Mater Dei went 70 yards in just four plays to push its lead to 35-0. Ingram had a 25-yard run on first down and a 31-yard run two plays later. On first-and-goal from the 10, Drake took a jet sweep just across the goal line at the right pylon.
It was as dominant a 35-0 victory as you’ll see. Ingram was unstoppable, the defense pinned down a dynamic opponent and Mater Dei showed the rest of the Shore and the state just how good it can be.
“We were looking forward to this week,” Ingram said. “Coach Mangiero always says ‘don’t eat the cheese’, so we stayed humble throughout the week and we came out and just played.”
“The kids really wanted to play well tonight,” Mangiero said. “It was our first time on Friday night (this season), big catholic school, local rivalry, all that stuff. Our kids knew they were a better team and they stepped up and played well.”
No. 1 Mater Dei Prep 35, No. 5 St. John Vianney 0
|Mater Dei (4-0, 4-0)||7||7||7||14||35|
|St. John Vianney (2-1, 1-1)||0||0||0||0||0|
Malik Ingram 19-yard run (Claire Gaston kick)
Malik Ingram 17-yard run (Claire Gaston kick)
Malik Ingram 1-yard run (Claire Gaston kick)
Malik Ingram 1-yard run (Claire Gaston kick)
Kyree Drake 10-yard run (Claire Gaston kick)
RUSHING – MDP: Malik Ingram 31-310, Kyree Drake 4-22, Alex Brown 4-14; SJV: Kavon Chambers 11-18, Antonio Rosato 2-12, Josh East 1-5, CJ Duell 9-(-8).
PASSING – MDP: Alex Brown 8-12-0 118; SJV: CJ Duell 9-19-1 77.
RECEIVING – MDP: Clarence Lewis 3-54, Malik Ingram 2-21, Kyree Drake 1-18, Isaiah Noguera 1-13, Naran Buntin 1-12; SJV: Warren Griffith 2-22, Kavon Chambers 3-18, Jayden Bellamy 2-14, Josh East 1-12, Zarrin Stephens 1-11.
INTERCEPTIONS – MDP: Isaiah Noguera 1-0.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.