WEST LONG BRANCH
A season-opening overtime loss to rival Rumson-Fair Haven appears to have brought out the best in Shore Regional.
The Blue Devils – unbeaten since Week One – registered their fifth consecutive win on Friday night, cruising past Mater Dei Prep, 47-0, behind a trio of touchdowns from senior running back Mark Costantino.
“We lost the first game but it motivated us,” said Costantino. “We know the feeling now that that’s not where we want to be. We know what we want to be. We couldn’t let that loss ruin our season.”
In the first quarter, Costantino took a short pass from quarterback Matthew Muh 19 yards into the end zone that put Shore up 14-0. In the second quarter, he punched in a 2-yard touchdown run, and in the third quarter, he ran back a Mater Dei Prep punt for a 40-yard score.
Senior Kevin Masica got Shore off to a quick start on the first play of the game with a 49-yard kick off that positioned the Blue Devils at Mater Dei’s 26-yard line to start their first drive. Three plays later, senior Jack Kelly ran 16 yards up the middle for the first score of the game. Kelly led all rushers with 77 yards on six carries.
On Mater Dei’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback Christian Palmer coughed up a fumble, and just four plays later, Costantino added his first touchdown. With less than four minutes into the game, the Blue Devils led 14-0.
“Coming off the bye week, sometimes you lose your edge a little bit, so you want to come out and establish something early,” said head coach Mark Costantino. “You’d like that in a big game, maybe in the playoffs, but we took advantage of it. They made a mistake and we made them pay. That’s what a good team is going to have to do.”
Mater Dei also failed to convert three fourth-down attempts in the first half.
In the third quarter, junior running back James Murphy extended the Blue Devil lead to 26-0 with a 4-yard score. On the following possession, Muh dropped back and found senior Tyler Vivian open in the end zone for a 36-yard strike.
Junior Chris Francisco capped the scoring for the Blue Devils in the fourth with a 8-yard touchdown carry.