TOMS RIVER Senior quarterback Tim Santiago and sophomore running back Tony Thorpe each rushed for over 100 yards as the No. 8 Brick Memorial football team defeated host Toms River East, 44-6, in a Class A South game on Saturday afternoon.
Santiago tallied 166 yards on 20 carries and scored the Mustangs’ (3-1, 3-1) fifth touchdown on a 16-yard sprint with 2:27 left in the third quarter. He only threw the ball once and connected with senior running back Elie Lavarin for an eight-yard gain in the first quarter to get a first down at the Toms River East 40-yard line.
After that pass, he carried the ball three consecutive times and eventually got a first down at the Toms River East 11-yard line. And four plays after that, the Mustangs capped a 10-play, 50-yard drive with a 23-yard field goal by senior kicker Matt Cuppari. That field goal gave Brick Memorial at 17-0 lead with 10:46 left in the second quarter.
Thorpe was an unstoppable force in the first half as he amassed 102 of his 179 yards in the first half and scored three of his game-high four touchdowns in the first half. His first touchdown run, of 29 yards, completed a seven-play, 48-yard drive with 8:12 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. His second touchdown run, of 15 yards, completed a four-play, 49-yard drive for a 14-0 lead with 5:59 left in the first quarter. His third touchdown run, of 33 yards, put the game out of reach as he completed a three-play, 48-yard drive for a 24-0 lead with 7:50 left in the second quarter.
Along with that field goal, Cuppari nailed five of his six extra point attempts while battling a vicious wind and rain at Toms River East High School. The last extra point attempt failed due to a bad snap.
Besides Thorpe and Santiago, senior running back Billy Walsh had one touchdown run, of eight yards, with 7:41 left in the fourth quarter to give Brick Memorial at 44-0 lead.
Toms River East (0-4, 0-4) ended a shutout bid on its final drive of the game.
To set up that drive, the Raiders recovered a fumble deep in Brick Memorial territory and started at their own 20-yard line with 3:13 left.
After an incompletion, a sack and another incompletion on three consecutive plays, junior quarterback Branden Laird tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Pat Saunders with 1:09 left. However, the Raiders missed the extra point attempt and that concluded the scoring.
KEY PLAY: On second and eight from the Toms River East 33-yard line, Brick Memorial’s Tony Thorpe rumbled for a 33-yard touchdown to increase the Mustangs lead to 24-0 with 7:50 left in the second quarter. At the time, it was Thorpe’s third rushing touchdown of the game.
OFFENSIVE GAME BALL: Thorpe finished with 21 carries for a 179 yards and he scored four rushing touchdowns. He had rushing touchdowns of 29, 15 and 33 yards in the first half and a rushing touchdown of 12 yards in the second half.
DEFENSIVE GAME BALL: The entire Brick Memorial defense held Toms River East to 73 yards of total offense (38 rushing, 35 passing), forced the Raiders to punt seven times, held the Raiders to three first downs, sacked the quarterback three times and recovered a fumble.
UP NEXT: Brick Memorial vs Old Bridge, Oct. 9; Toms River East at Freehold Township, Oct. 9
Sherlon Christie: email@example.com