With the regular season firmly in the rearview mirror, the 2019 playoffs took flight Friday night with a multitude of intriguing match-ups all around the state. Our Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week saw us travel to Holmdel for a South Jersey Group 3 quarterfinal between the Hornets and Red Bank Regional, the fourth and fifth seeds in the bracket.

Both teams entered with identical 5-3 records, although Holmdel finished with a slightly higher UPR on the season—the Hornets final UPR mark was 7 compared to 10.2 for the Bucs. This was a rematch of a Week 3 contest in Red Bank that ended with a score of 17-7 in favor of the visiting squad, and for a while it looked like the game would be an even lower scoring affair.

After a scoreless first quarter, Red Bank senior QB Jack Chamberlain connected with junior Nick Ferrogine on a beautiful 30-yard touchdown pass to give the Bucs a 7-0 lead. With Holmdel looking to strike before the end of the half, sophomore QB Jared Battaglia (who entered after starter Christian Donnelly suffered an injury) pitched the ball to senior RB Tom Ammirati who lofted the ball downfield to a wide-open Dylan Day who trotted into the endzone. After a running into the kicker penalty on the ensuing PAT, Holmdel decided to go for two and successfully converted on a handoff to Evan Jennings.

The Hornets would score two more touchdowns in the third quarter to go up 15; although Red Bank Regional managed to cut the deficit to eight in the fourth quarter, time simply wouldn’t prove to be on their side as they fell by a final score of 22-14. Holmdel’s next test will be a road game against a high-powered Woodrow Wilson team, the number two overall seed in South Group 3. Red Bank Regional’s next scheduled game will be their annual Thanksgiving match-up against Long Branch; the Bucs will be the home team this season.

Special congratulations to our Ocean Trophies Player of the Game, senior RB Tom Ammirati. Ammirati had several solid contributions on the ground but his biggest turned out to be through the air on a 28-yard halfback pass that led to Holmdel’s first lead of the game late in the first half.