WEST LONG BRANCH
Last season Vivian was on defense when Asbury Park connected on a long pass late in the game that lifted the Blue Bishops to a one-point victory and sent the team on a path to the division title and the NJSIAA Central Group I championship.
“I came into this game a little nervous, actually,” Vivian said. “I came in and thought they would come at me. They came at me but I had good coverage, did my job, and we came out with a victory.”
Vivian made two important catches on offense early and was part of a defense for Shore (1-1, 1-0) that limited the potentially explosive Blue Bishops (1-1, 1-1) to one offensive touchdown.
“He’s a great cover,” Shore coach Mark Costantino said of Vivian. “He’s all over the field.”
Muh hit Vivian with a third-down strike that set up Kelly’s first TD in the opening quarter.
“I jumped up, me and the kid were fighting for it, and I just ripped it out of his hands,” Vivian said. “I won that battle.”
The game featured both teams combining for 23 points in the final 1:48 of the first half that ended with Shore in front 27-6.
Kelly plunged in from the 1 to make it 17-0 and 23 seconds later it was 24-0 after Vaccaro’s pick.
Shore recovered an ensuing squib kick, but the good fortune backfired. Muh was sacked, fumbled, and Asbury Park’s
Daquane Bland-Bennett returned it 40 yards to the end zone that made it 24-6 with 1:13 showing.
The first-half scoring spree still wasn’t over. Monteiro drilled a 35-yard field goal as time expired.
“Wacky things happen sometimes before the half,” Costantino said. “That was a little nutty.”
“We should have won that game,” Costantino said. “We had a great week of practice. They’re a loose group.”
The winner of the Shore-Asbury Park game the last two years has won the division.
“Now we have control, it’s in our hands,” Costantino. “Our goal is to be 7-1 and get in there (the playoffs).”