Brick Memorial got off to a quick start and then held off a rally by Middletown North for a 36-21 win in a nondivisional game to improve to 2-0 on the season. Junior running back Michael Basile led the way as he scored all five touchdowns for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs didn’t waste any time getting their offense going in this game as they took the opening kickoff and drove 48 yards in five plays to get the ball down to the North 11. The key play on the drive was a 37-yard run by Nicholas Costa. Facing a 3rd-and-goal from the 11, quarterback Ryan Cieplenski found Basile open in the right flat and Basile avoided a tackle and got into the end zone for a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
“Costa really ran hard for us tonight up the middle,” Memorial coach Walt Currie said. “It really opened up the field for Basile and Cieplenski to make some big plays.”
Basile made the next big play of the game just a couple minutes later, but this time he did it from the defensive side of the ball. North quarterback Cody Thompson attempted a throw to his left, but Basile stepped in front of the intended receiver and went 33 yards down the sideline for the score and 14-0 first quarter advantage.
Brick Memorial kept the pressure on early in the second quarter as it put together another drive deep into North territory. This time Cieplenski found Basile in the left flat and Basile did the rest as he eluded multiple tackles for an 18-yard touchdown.
It looked like it would remain 21-0 going into halftime as North took over at their 20 with 1:30 left in the half. But Thompson engineered a drive that after 10 plays got the ball to the Memorial one-yard line with nine seconds to go. Thompson went 6-for-7 passing on the drive including a 1-yard toss to Nick Welsh on a roll to the right for the touchdown on the final play of the half to cut the deficit to 21-7.
On Memorial’s first possession of the second half, it started from its own 46. It took just one play to put more points on the board as Basile took a pitch from Cieplenski and raced untouched down the sideline for a 54-yard touchdown to make it 29-7.
The Mustangs got their final score late in the third when Cieplenski threw a swing pass to Basile who once again broke tackles and scored from 47 yards out.
Basile finished with 85 yards rushing and 94 yards receiving. Costa added 116 yards rushing. Cieplenski had 89.
For North, Thompson threw two 23-yard touchdowns in the second half.