WALL The No. 4 Brick Green Dragons found that history thankfully didn’t repeat itself in their 19-0 victory over Wall Friday night in a Shore Conference nondivisional game.
This was the same matchup of a year ago when Brick was upset and knocked from the undefeated ranks but Dragons’ quarterback Tom Zbranak and others took measures to ensure that wasn’t happening again.
Brick (5-0) never looked vulnerable against the Crimson Knights (1-4) with Zbranak leading three touchdown drives in the first half and finishing with 6 of 10 passing for 145 yards. Five of the passes were caught by Ja’sir Taylor.
The senior quarterback’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Matt Schleifer with 3:04 left in the second quarter capped the scoring, with the drive also featuring a pair of Zbranak to Taylor passes that covered 30 yards.
Brick took control in its first possession, going 87 yards in 11 plays, with Zbranak scoring on a four-yard run.
Zbranak and Taylor also connected twice on passes during that drive. Taylor’s 25-yard reception gave the Dragons a first down at the Wall 25, and a 13-yard pass to Taylor several plays later took the ball to the four-yard line.
The other Brick touchdown came early in the second quarter. The big play was a 68-yard pass from Zbranak to Javion Harris. Tom Zbranak’s 13-yard pass to Ja’sir Taylor set up Brick’s first touchdown, the only points the Green Dragons would need. Joe Sclafani scored on a 13-yard run with 11 minutes left in the second quarter, making the score 12-0.
Wall had good news with the return of quarterback Matt Cluley from an elbow injury and that prompted the Crimson Knights to turn to a quarterback by committee, with Cluley, Eddie Scott and Shane Richey all taking reps.
Cluley and Richey handled option roles. Scott, a sophomore, did all the throwing and was 12 of 20 for 116 yards.
Brick had been No. 7 in the Asbury Park Press rankings but moved up three spots after beating then-No. 2 Jackson Memorial 2-0 last week, with the only scoring on a first quarter safety when a punt snap sailed out of the end zone.
Key play: Tom Zbranak’s 13-yard pass to Ja’sir Taylor set up Brick’s first touchdown, the only points the Green Dragons would need.
Offensive game ball: Brick’s Ja’sir Taylor caught 5 passes for 77 yards.
Defensive game ball: Wall twice pushed to Brick’s 25-yard line but Green Dragons’ senior linebacker Dan Finelli led a bend-don’t-break resilience.
Up next: Wall visits Freehold and Brick visits Lacey next Saturday.
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