By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day. Well that was very accurate for the Falcons football team of Monmouth Regional High School as they hosted and were shut out 28-0 by the Blue Devils of Shore Regional High School.
Monmouth Regional installed lights this season for night games. Have to admit, their lights are the best in the Shore Conference as they completely light the entire field and also have the ability to change the color of the light poles when a team scores and can run different wave patterns to get the crowd into the game.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, the only time the effects were used were at halftime during the homecoming celebration. On the field, the Blue Devils dominated the game on all sides of the ball. Shore ran a total of 58 offensive plays to the 36 of Monmouth Regional.
Shore was just three yards short of 300 total offensive yards in the game. They had 88 yards in the air and 209 on the ground, getting a total of 17 first downs in the victory. Monmouth Regional on the other hand had 127 total yards with 112 passing and only 15 rushing, and had only five first downs.
The Falcons entered the game with one of their best records over the past 10 years. Of their five wins, three were by shut out and their two losses were also by shut out. Since 2014, Monmouth Regional has a 36-58 overall record and are 18-33 in divisional action.
Shore Regional entered the game on Friday night with a 4-2 record, their only two losses were opening day against Manasquan 14-7, and last week 21-6 to St. John Vianney. Over the past 10 years the Blue Devils are 67-32 overall and 32-15 in their divisional games.
On their first offensive drive of the night the Devils marched downfield and capped it off with a 51-yard pass from Josh Moeller to Parker Fegan, who caught the ball, turned around and out ran three Falcons into the end zone for the first touchdown of the night. The extra point by John Mazzacco gave Shore a 7-0 lead with 7:38 to play in the opening quarter.
The next touchdown for the Devils occurred with 27 seconds left in the first half. It was again a pass play for the Devils, which are known as a power running program. This time, Moeller connected on a 4-yard throw to Brendan O’Brien. Extra point by Mazzacco was good and Shore was up 14-0.
Shore Regional started the second half exactly how they started the first. On their first offensive drive of the third quarter, it was a 24-yard pass from Moeller to Jackson Whitacre. Mazzacco was good on the extra point and the Devils were up 21-0.
On their first offensive series of the second half, Dom O’Grady, senior quarterback for Monmouth Regional, was intercepted by Lucas White of Shore Regional. White picked off the pass and returned it 29 yards for the touchdown. However, Shore was called for a block in the back, and had a first and 10 at the Falcons 15-yard line.
A few plays later, with a first and goal at the Monmouth Regional three-yard line, Moeller hands the ball to White who powers in for the last touchdown of the game. Mazzacco was perfect on the extra point and that gave Shore the 28-0 lead and that is how the game ended.
Moeller was five of eight in passing for 88 yards and three touchdowns. His longest pass of the game was the 51-yard score to Fegan. On the ground, White was the workhorse with 17 touches for 104 yards and one touchdown. His longest run of the night was 36 yards.
Alex George had seven carries for 37 yards, Atticus Taboada had four runs getting 22 yards, O’Brien had nine carries for 19 yards. Cole Torres had one run gaining 14 yards and Moeller kept the ball eight times for 13 yards.
The three touchdown receptions for the Devils were Fegan with one catch for 51 yards, Whitacre had one for 24 and O’Brien had one for four yards.
Defensively the Devils were led by O’Brien with four tackles and assisted on five, Taboada had three, Schroeder had three and assisted on three and had one sack, White had two tackles and assisted on one, Sears had two and assisted on two, and Noah Karaban had two tackles assisted on two and sacked the Falcons quarterback once.
Currently, the Blue Devils are in third position within the Shore Conference Constitution Division. It is led by the Hornets of Holmdel who are 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the division. They next opponent for Shore are the Hornets on Friday night, October 20. In second place is Manasquan, and following Shore in fourth position is St. John Vianney, Ocean Township and then winless Asbury Park.
Monmouth Regional plays in the Liberty Division. Toms River South is on top at 5-2 overall and 4-0 in division action. They are followed by Pinelands, Monmouth Regional, Toms River East, Central Regional and Neptune. Falcons travel to Pinelands on Friday night for their last regular season game.
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