Mustangs' Basile's success is no surprise

Mustangs' Basile's success is no surprise

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Mustangs' Basile's success is no surprise

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Nothing Mike Basile does surprises Walt Currie.

Well, almost nothing Basile, a junior running back/wide receiver/free safety for Brick Memorial, does surprises his head coach.

“I will say this: When he’s got the ball in the open field that extra gear (Basile has) always make me go, ‘Whoa’,” Currie said. “He took a pitch on counter option against Midd. North (Middletown North) and he was in fifth gear and there was a sixth gear I wasn’t aware of and he just burst up the field.

“The other night, he took a pop pass against Jackson (Jackson Memorial) and burst. It’s like he’s a race car and has nitris.”

Basile’s extra gear has been a major reason he has exploded on to the Shore Conference scene the first three weeks of the season. Basile has scored 10 touchdowns in the first three games, including nine in the last two weeks.

“It’s awesome. I never really thought this would happen,” said Basile, who had four TDs last week in Brick Memorial’s 34-7 win at Jackson Memorial. “It’s awesome because this is what I always wanted.”

Basile has been a jack-of-all-trades. He has 16 carries for 145 yards an average of a shade over nine yards a carry. He has 10 receptions for 246 yards for an average of 24.6 yards a reception. He has scored six TDs receiving, two TDs rushing and two on interception returns. Against Jackson Memorial, Basile also had three sacks.

All of his TDs are on plays of 10 yards or more, with six of them being plays of 28 yards or more, with a long of 77 against Jackson Memorial. All but 77 of senior quarterback Ryan Cieplinski’s passing yards have been provided by Basile.

“I have been working harder to get bigger and stronger,” Basile said.

Basile, who played just defense last season and was the Mustangs’ Defensive Most Valuable Player last season, became an offensive player this season when Justin Hockaday graduated after last season.

“We knew coming in he was capable of putting up these kind of numbers and of being an explosive offensive player,” Currie said. “We knew coming into the season he had grown 4-5 inches and had gotten a lot bigger, more explosive with a little swagger.”

Basile, who is 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, is perhaps Brick Memorial’s most explosive player since Shawn Murray, a standout running back who led the Mustangs to the 1997 Shore Conference Class A South championship.

“He creates things for other guys,” Currie said. “It’s kind of symbalolic. “Our offensive line and Nick (junior fullback Nick Costa) get the inside run game going, and you’ve got Mike and Ryan (Cieplinski) on the perimeter.”

Defenses have to figure out where Basile lines up, too. With Brick Memorial having gone to a predominantly spread look, instead of using the flexbone set it had utilized during Currie’s previous five seasons as head coach, Basile could line up in the backfield, the slot or at flanker. He can also go in motion just before the ball is snapped.

However, one has to figure defenses, starting with Toms River East, who Brick Memorial hosts on Friday night, will start double-teaming Basile when he lines up at receiver or in the slot and will also have somebody spying on him.

“They can do that, but they will open up the middle of the field for Nick Costa, who is off to a great season (Costa has run for more than 100 yards each of the last two weeks and has 262 yards on the season). That will be good for us.”

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