Results from Saturday's NJSIAA semifinals involving Shore Conference teams.

Central Jersey Group II

3-Manasquan 31, 2-Roselle 27

The Warriors (9-1) held off a late charge by the Rams (9-1) to advance to their first sectional final since 2009.

Junior running back Connor Morgan ran for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns on 39 carries and also threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to senior wide out Damaso Jaime. Senior quarterback Jerry Maher had a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jaime after an interception by Jaime on defense, and senior Adam Schreck kicked a 34-yard field goal.

Manasquan will play the winner of the Bernards at Lincoln game in the state final where it will look to add to its Shore Conference-record 11 sectional titles.

Maher's touchdown pass to Jaime put Manasquan up 7-0, and the Warriors extended the lead to 14-0 by going into their bag of tricks and pulling out the option pass from Morgan to Jaime.

Roselle came right back to with two quick scores to make it 14-13 as quarterback Gerald Hairston III threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Drew Stephens and, after recovering an onside kick, Isiah Byrd scored on a 13-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, leaving Manasquan in front by a point.

Schreck's field goal extended Manasquan's lead to 17-13 at halftime, but Roselle took advantage of a fumble early in the third quarter to score on a 1-yard run by Hairston and convert the two-point conversion to assume a 21-17 lead. An 11-yard touchdown run by Morgan put Manasquan in front 24-21, and a defensive stand forced a Roselle punt from its 1-yard line that only traveled eight yards. Starting first-and-goal from the Roselle 9-yard line, Manasquan went up 31-21 with 3:55 left when Morgan scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Hairston threw a 29-yard pass to Stephens with 55 seconds left to cut Manasquan's lead to 31-27, but junior Tommy Antonucci recovered the ensuing onside kick to clinch the win.

 

Non-Public Group III

1-St. Joseph (Montvale) 45, 5-St. John Vianney 20

The Lancers (10-1) suffered their first loss of the season in the playoffs for the third straight season as the Green Knights (8-2) raced out to a 45-6 halftime lead on their way to a lopsided win.

 

Non-Public Group II

2-Mater Dei Prep 26, 3-St. Joseph (Hammonton) 0

The Seraphs (11-0) sent a message to the rest of the state that the are ready to win a championship now by shutting out the seven-time defending champion Wildcats (7-4) to advance to just their second sectional final in program history and first since 1999.

The Mater Dei defense was ferocious with 11 tackles for a loss or no gain, five sacks and a fumble recovery while holding St. Joe's to 79 yards of offense and seven first downs. Junior quarterback George Pearson threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to senior Marvin Pierre and Pierre also scored on a 4-yard run to help the Seraphs build a 13-0 halftime lead.

A 95-yard punt return by senior Eddie Lewis put the Seraphs up 19-0 in the third quarter, and a 5-yard touchdown run by Justin McCrae with 4:14 to play made it 26-0.

Pierre had two tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks at linebacker, while Jonathan Lubintus had three tackles for a loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Senior defensive end Shane Mastro also had two tackles for a loss.

Mater Dei will try to make history and win the program's first sectional title when it takes on Holy Spirit in the Non-Public Group II title game, site/date/time still to be determined.

 

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