Week 9 Jersey Mike’s Shore Conference Football Team of the Week: Long Branch
Every week this fall, Jersey Mike’s and Shore Sports Network will team up to select a Shore Conference Football Team of the Week based on its performance over the past weekend.
The Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week for Week 9 is Long Branch, which upset third-seeded Jackson Memorial, 13-0, in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 4 state playoffs. Shore Sports Network stopped by practice to present the Green Wave and head coach Chad King with a special game ball and a $500 Jersey Mike's gift card.
Using a physical defense, a ball-control offense, and a roster fully healthy for the first time all season, Long Branch stifled a 7-1 Jackson team and slowed down its powerful rushing attack that was the overwhelming focal point of the Jaguars' offense. Junior linebacker Joseph Corley led the way with four tackles for loss and was a constant menace in Jackson's backfield. Junior cornerback Christopher Moses had an interception, junior linebacker Havier Gonzalez delivered a thunderous hit to break up a pass on fourth down, and the Green Wave had another big fourth-down stop at their own 36-yard line in the first half. Senior quarterback Earnest Reevey tossed a 26-yard touchdown to senior running back Zaheem Brown on a screen pass in the first half and ran for a touchdown in the second half to put the game away.
Senior running back Da'Von Craft led the Long Branch ground attack with 86 yards rushing on 16 carries. Reevey completed just two passes but they were crucial ones - the 26-yard score to Brown and a 38-yard pass to Aulander Daniels that set up Long Branch's second touchdown. The win over Jackson Memorial was the second game Reevey has played without a cast on his throwing hand since suffering a broken hand during a Week 0 win over Piscataway. The offense had to lean heavily on the running game when he was out of the lineup and that remained the same even when he returned to action with a hard cast on his right hand.
Now at full strength and with momentum, Long Branch will try to pull a second straight road upset and reach a sectional final. The Green Wave will travel to Ocean County on Friday night to square off with second-seeded Brick Memorial (10-0) in the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals.