Eagles bounce back to beat Warriors

Eagles bounce back to beat Warriors


Eagles bounce back to beat Warriors



So much for ill effects.

Middletown South showed none in its 42-13 nondivisional win over Manasquan on Friday night.

The Eagles bounced back from a 35-31 home loss to Manalapan on Friday night of last week.

“I was not concerned about ill effects at all,” junior quarterback Kyle Brey said after completing 14 of 18 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for one score. “We showed we could play with the best of teams, Manalapan. We played great tonight. We made the plays and our offensive line played great. That loss was tough to take. We showed we could play with them, but it slipped away. Our coach (Steve Antonucci) lives in Manasquan. He really wanted to win this game.”

South senior running back Jake Ripnick rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. He sped for 102 yards and two TDs on 21 first-half carries. The Eagles piled up 147 first-half yards on 27 carries.

“In the whole first half, our offensive line did an outstanding job,” Brey said. “We could have run the ball the whole time. We made the big plays when we had to.”

The Eagles (3-1) scored on their first three series of the game en route to a 28-0 halftime lead.

South took a 6-0 lead with 8:07 left in the first quarter on a 5-yard run up the middle by Ripnick. Junior Connor Ryan kicked his first of six extra points for a 7-0 lead.

The touchdown capped a 7-play, 37-yard drive. Ripnick carried five times for 25 yards, including a 4-yarder that pushed the Eagles to the Warriors’ 9-yard line. Brey threw a 4-yard pass to senior wide receiver Eli Smith to get to the 5 and Ripnick scored on the next play.

The Eagles marched 60 yards on 14 plays for their second touchdown, a 6-yard pass from Brey to senior Ryan Patterson with 35 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Ripnick keyed the drive, churning for 31 yards on eight carries. Brey connected with junior Tayler Hendrickson on a 9-yard pass to the Manasquan 17 and the Eagles scored five plays later.

Smith recovered a Manasquan fumble of a Ryan punt at the Warriors’ 49, setting up South’s third score as Ripnick made it 21-0 with 3:56 remaining in the second quarter on a 3-yard run.

Brey flashed his speed on the drive, racing 25 yards to the Manasquan 7 before Ripnick scored.

The Eagles took over at their 31 with 1:04 to go in the first half after a Manasquan punt and went the distance on four plays. Junior Jeremy Concepcion capped the drive with an 18-yard run with 16 seconds to go.

Brey set up the score with a 31-yard pass to senior Anthony Citarella to the 18. Brey threw a 79-yard third-quarter touchdown pass to Citarella and capped the scoring with a 19-yard run in the fourth.

Brey’s brother, Howie, was the starting quarterback last season and now plays baseball for Rutgers.

“I like to brag to him that we will win the Central Jersey Group IV title this year,” Brey said. “We lost in the first round of the (CJ III) playoffs last year to Northern Burlington. I like to brag to him that I am the better runner. I love being the quarterback. I love being able to throw the ball and still be able to run it. There is a little pressure on me, but I like it. I like running the spread offense more than the option.”


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