Blue Devils declaw Wildcats

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

All the Blue Devil football players at Shore Regional High School will receive a “Red Devil” sticker this week. Every time Shore wins a football game the players receive the honor for a sticker to be placed on their helmets.

Friday night Shore hosted and crushed Pinelands 31-0 to start the season.

Up front the Blue Devils have some beef this year. Vinny DiMaio is 6’4” and weighs nearly 300 pounds. Sam Weber is 6’ and 260 pounds, Joe Aria 6’5” and 255 pounds and Frank Illiano at 5’10” and 290 pounds.

Shore took the opening drive and rumbled over the Wildcats. The Devils fumbled the ball on the 19-yard line of Pinelands who recovered. On their first possession, the Wildcats faced a fourth and two at their own 40-yard line, and the Shore defense knocked them back for a two-yard loss and took over.

The first quarter ended scoreless but the Blue Devils were threatening. Starting the second quarter they made it to the Pinelands five-yard line but had to settle for a field goal and took at 3-0 lead with 7:55 left in the first half.

Pinelands was putting together an effective offensive drive, but Goldsmith picked off a Wildcats pass at their 47-yard line with 4:22 left in the first half. Next play, Carlstrom ran untouched 47 yards for the touchdown. The Devils missed the extra point but were up 9-0 with 3:37 left in the half.

On the next offensive Blue Devils series, Goldsmith threw a perfect pass to Carlstrom for a 35-yard gain that gave Shore a first and ten at the Pinelands 13 with 15 seconds left in the second quarter. On the next play, Goldsmith hit Carlstrom on a 13-yard pass play for the touchdown. The extra point was good and Shore had a 16-0 lead at the half.

Pinelands started the third quarter with a fumble at their own 14-yard line. Shore recovered and

drove 86 yards and scored on an eight-yard run by McLaughlin. The Wildcats blocked the extra point kick, but were losing 22-0.

Wildcats then had a fourth and 11 at the Shore 41 when they attempted a long pass. Goldsmith knocked the ball away at his own 20, and the Devils took over at the 41. The third quarter ended with Shore up 22-0 over Pinelands.

Goldsmith then started the fourth quarter with a huge 44-yard run, untouched for the touchdown putting Shore up 29-0.

Pinelands then ran 90 yards for the touchdown, however a flag was thrown back at the line and the Wildcats were called for holding.

Costantino was happy with his defense which gave up only 100 total yards during the game. The Wildcats had only 97 yards rushing and three in the air.

Shore ran 32 offensive plays getting 285 yards. Goldsmith ran the ball eight times for 65 yards and one touchdown. Carlstrom had five touches for 43 yards. McCrae had 43 yards on eight rushes and McLaughlin ran the ball four times for 30 yards. In the air, Goldsmith completed all four of his passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Carlstrom caught all four passes for 104 yards and those two touchdowns.

Last year Shore Regional played in the B Central division of the Shore Conference. This season with the realignment and new divisional names, the Blue Devils are in the Patriot Division along with Pinelands, Mater Dei, Matawan, Barnegat, and Jackson Liberty.

Mark Costantino enters his 27th season as head coach of the Blue Devils. His career record including this week’s 31-0 over Pinelands is 177-95-1.

“We were always one of the best Group 1 schools in the state,” said Costantino. Under the NJSIAA guidelines, Group 1 schools have the lowest enrollment numbers. Shore has been dominant in that Group, but this year the powers to be moved Shore up to a Group 2 school. “Now we are the smallest school in Group 2, if we stayed in Group 1, we would have easily won it again. This year, I don’t know how it will end, but I know we will play our best to the end.”

In 2017 the Blue Devils had a off season finishing 4-6, something that the coaches and players were unhappy with. However, in 2018 Shore returns a number of talented, fast and big players hoping for bigger and better results.

For years Shore has been known for its speedy backfield and tough defense. Well, it appears that 2018 is off to a fast start as all the players in the backfield are very quick. Senior Gil Goldsmith is the leader playing quarterback. Jack McCrae, Terry Carlstrom, Shane McLaughlin are the backs with quick feet.

Up next for the Blue Devils is Barnegat on September 14, at 7pm in West Long Branch.