Friday night the Blue Devils of Shore Regional hosted the Falcons of Monmouth Regional in a nondivisional Shore Conference football game. It was tight, but the Devils pulled out the 17-7 victory and improved to 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the Patriot Division. The Falcons fall to 2-3 overall and in the Independence Division.
The game started with a bang when senior Ty Koch, who transferred to Shore from Monmouth Regional after his freshman season, threw a deep ball to CJ Sears, junior wide receiver. Sears got behind Zyhmir Traymon, senior defensive back for Monmouth Regional, in the end zone and made a perfect over-the-shoulder catch. However, when he hit the ground the ball came lose for no touchdown.
However, it didn’t take the Devils long to get back into the end zone. A few plays later, junior Alex George ran in from three yards out. Senior Michael Furlong kicked the extra point giving Shore a 7-0 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, Lucas White, senior running back, broke through the Falcons defensive line and made it to the Monmouth Regional two-yard line. One play later, White ran in for the score. Furlong was good on the kick and Shore took a 14-0 lead into the break.
Monmouth Regional, who had their first winning record in four years last season at 6-4, made some great adjustments at halftime. Dan Wendel, who is in his fourth season as the head coach, had his defense pinning the Devils deep in their end of the field to start the second half.
That field position helped the Falcons in the third quarter. Shore was forced to punt into a strong breeze from near their end zone. The result was Monmouth Regional starting a drive from within the 50-yard line of the Devils. That drive was capped off by a 15-yard run by senior Julian Jones. Last season Jones was tenth in the Shore Conference with 1,200 rushing yards.
Going into the final quarter of the game, Shore held a 14-7 lead. Both teams had exchanged turnovers inside the Devils 50, but the Falcons were unable to take advantage of their recovery. Shore on the other hand were able to move the ball and faced a fourth and long. Mark Costantino, who recorded his 200th career win two weeks ago as head coach, sent Furlong out to kick a 32-yard field goal. He had enough leg on the kick to make a40-yard kick, and Shore was up 17-7. And that is how it ended.
George was leading rusher for the Devils with 18 carries for 128 yards. His performance earned him the Sterns Trailer Athlete of the Week for The Link News. Also having good ground games for Shore was Lucas Rosa who also had 18 carries for 62 yards, and Lucas White had 60 yards on nine touches. Koch had 42-rushing yards and completed two of six passes for 16 yards.
Furlong had four punts for the Blue Devils with an average of 30 yards and his longest was 54. He also had four kickoffs in the game with his longest going 60 yards.
Shore, a team with a history of power running, had 308 total offensive yards, with 292 on the ground. They ran 63 total plays and had 16 first downs.
Monmouth Regional ran 44 total plays and had 134 total offensive yards. Jenn completed four of 15 passes for 31-yards. On the ground the Falcons finished with 117 yards and Jones had 114 of those.
October 7, Shore will host longtime rival Point Beach at 7:00 p.m. The following week they will be at Manasquan on October 15, for a 1:00 p.m. game and close out the regular season at home with a 7:00 p.m. game against Asbury Park.
Monmouth Regional will be at Point Boro on October 7 for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. They close out the season with back-to-back home games. October 15, they host Pinelands at 12:00 p.m. and October 22, host Manasquan for a noon kickoff.