Mater Dei went into Saturday’s game against Cardinal McCarrick in an unfamiliar role — as a favorite.
So, the chance for a letdown was there even though the Seraphs had opened their season with an emphatic win over rival Keansburg and Cardinal McCarrick had been trounced by Point Pleasant Beach in its opener and had just 18 players in uniform for that game.
However, any fear of a letdown was immediately allievated as junior running back Tysaun White scored on 65-yard runs on Mater Dei’s first two plays from scrimmage. The Seraphs then went on to record a 38-16 win.
“When you score on your first two touches, you feel a little bit relieved,” said Mater Dei coach Steve Sciarappa.
Mater Dei, which has outscored its first two opponents, 72-30, is 2-0 for the first time since 1986, according to Asbury Park Press records. The Seraphs started 4-0 that season on their way to a 7-3 season. Mater Dei lost in the first round of the NJSIAA Non-Public South B playoffs.
The Seraphs, who until this season had not won a season-opener since 1995, were last unbeaten after two games in 1992 when they defeated Allentown in the opener and tied Holmdel,14-14, in the second game.
“When you play football in the state of New Jersey, wins are hard to come by,” said Sciarappa, who is in his fourth season as Mater Dei’s coach and is also the school’s principal. “Every game is a learning experience. This validates a lot of our teaching. We’re 2-0 with some momentum going into our next game against a Dunellen team that is a very tough opponent and has been in the playoffs a lot in recent years.”
Senior running back Derek Lopez ran for two TDs and junior wide receiver Vinny Mezzacapa returned a shanken punt 30 yards for a TD.
“We mixed our roster a little bit (on Saturday) because we had some minor injuries and some guys who had a little bit of a case of the flue,” Sciarappa said. “Some kids who aren’t normally in the mix were in the mix and stepped up and played really hard.”
IN OTHER GAMES:
COLTS NECK 39, NORTH BRUNSWICK 0: Senior running back Anthony Gargiulo wan for 172 yards and two TDs on 14 carries and Nick Volpe had two receptions for 77 yards and a TD as the Cougars (2-0) rolled to the win over the Raiders (0-2) in a nondivisional game.
Colts Neck has outscored its first two opponents, 84-0 and has games the next two weeks against Marlboro (0-2) and Middletown North (0-1) that it will be favored to win as seeks to start 4-0 for the second straight season. The Cougars actually started last season 5-0.
SPOTSWOOD 60, KEANSBURG 0: Senior fullback Jack Dalymple ran for four first half touchdowns and 97 yards on 12 caries and junior running back Chase Fee ran for 149 yards and two first half TDs as the Chargers (2-0) defeated the Titans (0-2) in a nonconference game.
Spotswood ran for 408 yards and came up with five turnovers as it avenged a loss to Keansburg from last season.