Halloween is a week or so away but strange happenings occurred over the weekend on the fields around the Shore.   While there was no candy involved, there were plenty of treats for the fans.
Manalapan(4-2) had a 20-14 lead on RBC(3-3) with the Caseys driving for the go-ahead score in the last minute of the game.  They had just hit a big pass that got them to the Brave 19-yard line when the Casey QB, on an attempted spike of the ball, fumbled the snap but recovered and placed the ball on the ground in an attempt to stop the clock.  The ball was ruled live and no whistle blew and Manalapan LB Jake Freedman recovered the ball and the Braves won the game in a very weird ending.  In discussions with various referees the next day, it was explained to me that the QB must make a discernible attempt to throw the ball downward.  Tough way to lose the ball and RBC gets the tough loss while Manalapan gets the huge win.
Central (2-4) had just kicked a field goal against Red Bank(4-3) to tie the score at 24 with seconds left and overtime looming.  The only problem was Central had to kickoff to Red Bank as the clock expired.  They squibbed the ball to the 25-yard line which was in my opinion, the correct call.   Owen Laughlin picked it up and returned it for a TD to win it as time expired.  A “walkoff” kickoff return for the 30-24 victory.   Wow, what excitement.
Perhaps the strangest of games occurred in Long Branch as the Green Wave was attempting to upset Toms River North and send the American Division into a 3-way tie with North, Rumson, and Manalapan.  As the game progressed LB(2-5) scored 2 TDs in a span of 20 seconds in the 3rd quarter but still trailed 28-27 and that’s when strange things really began to happen. Long Branch took the lead 33-28 with 3:32 left at which point North QB Jake Kazanowsky took over.  He fired a 50 yard TD pass to Ray Carlson with 2:36 left and completed the 2 point play to Carlson for a 36-33 lead.  Long Branch would not quit and with one minute left  QB Kyle Davidson hit Jayon Farrar to go-ahead 39-36.  Kazanowsky and North were not done and with the American Division championship on the line, he led them on a 64-yard drive and hit Dominick Jacob with a 10 yard TD pass with13 seconds left in the game.  It was a wild five-play drive that took 42 seconds.  All in all, Kazanowsky passed for 256 yards and 4 TDs in this crazy and wild game.  North RB Jarod Pruitt also ran for 93 yards to compliment Kazanowsky’s great day.   Davidson threw for 229 yards and a TD and also ran one in.  Jermaine Corbett, Long Branch’s outstanding RB only played defense and special teams but scored 2 TDS including a 96-yard kickoff return and a 28-yard fumble return.
Six of seven Division championships in the Shore have been decided.  TR North(American), Southern(Constitution), TR East(Freedom), Donovan Catholic (Liberty), Ocean(Patriot) and Asbury Park(National) are your champions.  Wall, the Shore’s #1 team has clinched at least a tie in the Colonial and must beat Brick to win it outright.  A loss and Mater Dei Prep(4-3) gets a piece of the title.  All these teams are on their way to the playoffs which begin Nov8/9.  Pairings will be announced on Monday, November 4th.
Our Wednesday the Asylum Sports Center Coaches Corner brings HC Dino Mangiero of Mater Dei Prep and two of his players down to the RiverRock in Brick.  The show begins at 7 pm and can be watched on  ShoreSportsNetwork.com.  No radio this week as 105.7 The Hawk hosts its annual Ocean of Love Billboard event...good luck to Andy Chase and the Hawk Crew.
Our Friday night Jersey Mikes Game of the Week is a good one as #2 and undefeated Donovan Catholic(7-0) welcomes the RBC Caseys to Toms River.  It’s a 6:30 start this week and will be streamed on ShoreSportsNetwork.com.

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