By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
October 7, the 4-1 Blue Devils of Shore Regional traveled to Holmdel and faced the 1-5 Lancers of St. John Vianney in a Shore Conference Constitution divisional football game. Shore started the game red hot, but quickly had their flames extinguished by St. John Vianney, who won 21-6.
Shore took their opening drive and used four minutes to go down field to score the first touchdown. It was a one-yard run by junior quarterback Josh Moeller. The extra point attempt by John Mazzacco was blocked, but the Blue Devils jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on the Lancers.
That lead was short lived, as St. John Vianney took their opening drive and ran and passed their way to a touchdown, a 10-yard pass play. They made the extra point and took a 7-6 lead into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lancers scored on a one-yard run and had a 14-6 lead into the halftime break. During that first half, Shore fumbled the ball three times, but were lucky to recover all three. However, those fumbles killed several drives the Blue Devils were working on.
Third quarter was scoreless. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, St. John Vianney scored their last touchdown of the game on a 35-yard run and extra point kick. The 21-6 win gave the Lancers a 2-5 record overall and 2-2 in division action. Shore Regional suffered their second loss of the season and are now 4-2 overall and also 2-2 in the Constitution division.
Shore had their worst offensive showing of the season. They ran 47 plays and only had 162-total yards. Devils had 117 rushing yards and 45 in the air. They only converted 2 of 11 third downs, something that is highly unusual for them.
Lancers on the other hand, ran 55 plays and had 305 total yards. In the air, St. John Vianney had 130 yards and 175 on the ground. On third downs, they converted 3 of 9.
Moeller completed four of 10 passes for those 45 yards and had one interception. Also attempting a pass for Shore Regional was senior Alex George, who threw an interception. On the ground, the Devils were led by Brendan O’Brien, junior, who had 51 yards on 10 touches. George ran the ball eight times for 28 yards, Atticus Taboada, junior, had two touches for 15 yards and Lucas White, had 15 yards on six carries.
Receiving, Jackson Whitacre had one catch for 24 yards, White had two for 18 yards and CJ Sears, senior, had one reception for three yards.
Defensively, Tommy Schroeder, junior, had nine tackles and assisted on seven. Whitacre made five solo tackles and assisted on four. He also had one sack. Also getting a sack was White, who had four solo tackles and assisted on two. He also had three tackles that were for loss of yardage for the Lancers.
“We played hard and had our chances,” said Mark Costantino, head coach of the Blue Devils. “They are a much better team than their record indicates.”
Up next for the Devils are the Falcons of Monmouth Regional on Friday, October 15, at 6:30 p.m. The game will be played in Tinton Falls as Monmouth Regional now has lights at their stadium. The Falcons are 5-2 overall and 5-2 in the Liberty division, which is second place.
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