Mater Dei Prep tops Keyport for first time since 1997

Mater Dei Prep tops Keyport for first time since 1997

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Mater Dei Prep tops Keyport for first time since 1997

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After a slow start from both teams in early wet conditions, Mater Dei Prep and quarterback Christian Palmer stepped up and cruised to a 36-0 victory over Keyport on Saturday afternoon. It was a decisive win for the Seraphs (3-1), who remain undefeated in Shore Conference Class B Central play.

The game plan was simple for Mater Dei Prep head coach Steve Sciarappa and the Seraphs, establish a run game early and then look to attack through the air. Palmer got the scoring started for the Seraphs with an option keeper that went 45 yards to the house for a 7-0 lead.

“We wanted to go out and establish a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball,” Sciarappa said. “We have a lot of different guys that can touch the ball in space, it all starts up front with the line, they did a really great job for Christian today.”

The Seraphs went through the air for the second score of the game, as Palmer connected with Zach Bragg for a 43 yard touchdown pass. Mater Dei Prep took a 14-0 lead into the half, but increased the lead thanks to another keeper from Palmer for an 11 yard touchdown.

Things were working for the senior quarterback both on the ground and through the air on Saturday. Palmer added two more touchdown passes in the second half. The first was to Tysaun White for 60 yards, and the final one of the game was a 86 yard touchdown reception by Eddie Lewis.

“It all starts at the top, the coach calls those plays and we just try and go out an execute,” Palmer said. “The line did a great job of holding their blocks, receivers did a great job of finding the grass, and it’s easy for me from there.”

It was also a stand out performance from the Serpahs defense who did a good job of stopping the Keyport run game led by Ky’Sun Pryor. Pryor was able to gain some yards in the first half, including a 35 yard run, but the Red Raiders still were unable to get into the end zone the entire game.

“The defense played really well, we start nine sophomores this year,” Sciarappa said. “Little by little they are coming around, they were able to buckle down and just play good defense for us today.”

With wins over Keansburg, Asbury Park, and Keyport, the Serpahs are right in the Class B Central divisional hunt. Just last season the Seraphs were only able to come away with one win in their division, but according to Palmer it’s been the senior leadership that already has them with a big three wins this season.

“It’s a credit to all the upperclassmen who are setting a good example to the underclassmen,” Palmer said. “We have kids waking up at 4:30 in the morning to come and play football for this program, so it’s just really a great job all around from our players.”

With Shore and Point Beach still on the schedule for Mater Dei Prep, Palmer and his team are looking forward to competing for the division title.

“It’s always a great game playing against Shore and Beach,” Palmer said. “This year we have put ourselves in the position to compete for a division title, we are really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Chris Parker cparker@app.com

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