St. John Vianney quarterback Anthony Carlucci completed all five of his pass attempts for 91 yards and two touchdowns to lead Monmouth County to a 28-7 victory over Ocean County in the 35th annual U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic Thursday at Bob Roggy Memorial Field.
Manalapan running back John Sieczkowski, who rushed for a school-record 2,189 yards last season, added 100 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries for Monmouth, which now leads the overall series 19-15-1. Ocean won last year’s game, 6-3.
After a scoreless first quarter, Sieczkowski and Carlucci led Monmouth on a 12-play, 65-yard drive that took nearly six minutes in the second quarter. Sieczkowski had 10 carries for 49 yards and Carlucci threw twice for 16 yards as Sieczkowski finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Colts Neck’s Reiner Smith kicked the first of his four extra points to give Monmouth a 7-0 lead with 1:10 left in the first half.
Monmouth then scored two touchdowns on its first four plays of the third quarter to take a 21-0 lead. Carlucci, who was second in the Shore Conference with 19 touchdowns and 2,059 yards last season, capped a three-play, 68-yard drive with a 44-yard touchdown strike along the right sideline to fellow Lancer Anthony Pante to give Monmouth a 14-0 lead with 10:46 left in the third.
“Throwing to Pante, I’m just so comfortable,” said Carlucci, who received the Monmouth Offensive Most Valuable Player award. “There’s a lot of trust there. I trust he’s going to be there, he trusts that I’m going to put it there. One last time, that was a lot of fun.”
After Red Bank Catholic’s John DiStefano returned a punt 23 yards to the Ocean 15, Howell quarterback Ryan Davies connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass with Red Bank receiver Tyheem Crawford in the right side of the end zone to give Monmouth a 21-0 lead with 6:59 left in the quarter.
Ocean answered with a nine-play, 69-yard touchdown drive. Brick quarterback Brandon Kieslor led the drive by completing three of five passes for 58 yards, including a 31-yarder to Jackson Memorial receiver Johntel Thomas. After Thomas caught an 8-yard pass to the Monmouth 3, Kieslor scored one play later on a 2-yard touchdown run.
Central Regional’s Jon Azaceta kicked the extra point as Ocean pulled to within 21-7 with 2:56 remaining in the third quarter.
Monmouth, though, put the game away by driving 36 yards for a touchdown following DiStefano’s 10-yard punt return to the Ocean 36. DiStefano ran four times for 27 yards before Carlucci threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Keansburg receiver Matt Smith on third-and-17 to give Monmouth a 28-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“A game like this is a blast,” said Carlucci, who will continue playing football at Franklin & Marshall. “This whole week has just been a ton of fun. These guys are the best in the Shore Conference and it’s just a real honor to be here.”
In addition to Carlucci, Manasquan linebacker Kodie McNamara was named the Monmouth Defensive MVP.
For Ocean, Kieslor was named the Offensive MVP and Lacey defensive end Jordan Powell was named the Defensive MVP.