McAlary, Manasquan run past Holmdel

McAlary, Manasquan run past Holmdel


McAlary, Manasquan run past Holmdel



When offensive lineman Jake Vernaglia looked up and saw James McAlary on his way to a 75-yard touchdown run on Manasquan’s first play from scrimmage, he had one thought.

“I was like, man, he is fun to watch run,” Vernaglia said. “That was something special.”

McAlary, also known as “Bubba,” finished with 188 yards on 14 carries and backfield mate Jack Bianco scored on three short runs to lead the No. 8 Warriors to a 37-0 Shore Conference Class A Central win over Holmdel on Saturday at Vic Kubu Warrior Field.

Manasquan (6-1, 4-1) scored on its first five possessions, with Bianco finding the end zone twice on runs of 1 yard and another on a 2-yard blast up the middle.

Tanner Cowley added an 18-yard touchdown reception from Tucker Caccavale for the Warriors, who won their fifth in a row since a 41-0 loss to Red Bank Catholic.

“We just all came together as an offensive line and did our jobs,” Vernaglia said. “Bubba and Jack were on fire today. It’s a pleasure to block for them.”

The Warriors edged then-.500 Monmouth Regional, 17-14, last week and were facing a team with a losing record in Holmdel (1-6, 0-4).

“They were 1-5 and you don’t want to take them lightly,” Vernaglia said. “We had trouble against Monmouth, so we just wanted to come out firing and show everybody that was watching and doubting us who Manasquan is.”

Holmdel gained 32 yards on its first five plays, but had just 34 yards the remainder of the first half.

“We’d been there before, where a team comes out fired up, and it’s like, ‘Whoa,’ ” Vernaglia said. “We just took a breath and (linebacker) Blaine Birch got us fired up and we knew what we had to do. We buckled up and played four quarters.”

McAlary gave Manasquan the lead on its first offensive play, bursting around the left side before cutting back to the middle and scampering 75 yards for a touchdown. Joe Fittin threw a 2-point conversion pass to Cowley after a botched snap on the PAT kick.

Bianco capped a 12-play, 57-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run as the Warriors increased their lead to 16-0 with 10:34 remaining in the second quarter.

Four minutes later, Bianco’s 1-yard touchdown run finished a six-play, 39-yard drive that gave Manasquan a 23-point advantage.

Cowley’s 18-yard touchdown reception from Caccavale on a fourth-and-2 play made it 30-0 heading into halftime.

Bianco’s third TD came on the first possession of the second half, finishing a seven-play drive that covered 66 yards to close the scoring at 37-0.

Holmdel was led by Matt Dixon, who had 68 yards on four carries and added seven yards on two catches.

“We were looking to cover assignments and play fundamentally and not make many mistakes,” Manasquan coach Jay Price said. “I think that’s kind of what we came away with. We kept it real basic for our kids this week and emphasized execution and fundamentals. When we’re playing focused and fundamental, we can be pretty good.”

Manasquan has a bye before playing Nov. 8 at Rumson-Fair Haven.


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