MIDDLETOWN – The excitement of an opening weekend rivalry matchup turned into one of frustration spoiled by bad weather and bad fundamental football.
The fans turned out to watch a first half filled with the two teams battling themselves versus each other.
The Mater Dei Prep Seraphs opened the 2014 season on Saturday with a 43-6 blowout win over Keansburg.
The two teams combined for four turnovers in the first half including two of the first three plays resulting in lost fumbles.
“The mistakes early on and the penalties were just momentum killers,’’ Mater Dei coach Steven Sciarappa said.
“I am proud of how hard they were playing with their intensity level. They kept at it and eventually found their rhythm.”
The Seraphs explosive run game helped break open the scoreless game with a 17-yard-rushing touchdown by senior running back Zach Bragg.
Bragg’s touchdown was set up by a 43-yard pass from senior quarterback Christian Plamer to sophomore receiver Eddie Lewis. Lewis led the team in receiving touchdowns as a freshman last year.
Early in the second quarter Keansburg responded with a touchdown pass of their own. A 19-yard strike from Junior Ian Terry was caught by senior Joseph Schacht capping a near six-minute drive.
Terry finished with 59 total yards passing.
Shortly before the half Zach Bragg struck again with a 42-yard rushing touchdown to give the Seraphs some breathing room. Bragg totaled 92 yards rushing on the afternoon.
Mater Dei led 13-6 at half, however, the score may have looked different had three touchdowns not been called back due to penalties.
However, it was as if the rain that began falling at halftime washed away the problems of the Seraphs offense. They exploded in the second half outscoring the Titans 30-0.
The surge was led by Christian Plamer who finished the game with four total touchdowns, two passing and two running. .
“You know the line did a great job, they gave me plenty of time,’’ Plamer said. “Coaches made calls at the right time. It was a team thing, it was every component of the game.”
Plamer finished the game with an impressive 109 passing yards and 79 rushing.
The offensive woes for Keansburg continued into the second half in which the offense produced 37 total yards.
“Simply we lost the second half,” Keansburg coach Chris Damian said. “They executed better than we did.”
Coach Damian emphasized that practices this week will be heavily influenced by protecting the football.
The Titans will have a chance at their home opener next weekend to bounce back against Highland Park.
Coming off a season at 6-5, Mater Dei will have an opportunity to win their first couple of games of the 2014 season. They head on the road to Dunellen High School next weekend.