UNION – It would be tough to describe another historic football season from the Shore Blue Devils in just one word, but after defeating Palmyra 56-28 for a second straight NJSIAA Central Group I title under the lights at Kean University, there is one word that comes to mind.
For the first time in school history, Shore finishes a season at 12-0, joining a 1981 Shore team (11-0) in the history books.
Led by running backs Doug Goldsmith and Jack Britton, the rushing game was unstoppable through all four quarters of the game. Goldsmith finished with 260 yards on the ground along with five touchdowns, and Britton added 218 yards on the ground along with one rushing touchdown.
Shore head coach Mark Costantino felt his team could control the game up front, and that proved to be the case on Saturday night.
However, after a few Shore turnovers, Palmyra stayed within striking distance, trailing Shore 28-14 at the half and getting the ball to start the third quarter.
“At halftime I challenged the seniors. I said it’s your year, and you have to make a play,” Costantino said.
That big play came courtesy of senior Devin Mclaughlin, who dropped back and picked off Palmyra quarterback Max Smyth in the opening drive of the third quarter.
From there it was more of the same from Goldsmith and Britton, who continued the domination on the ground.
“We were hitting the gaps, it was fantastic the line did a great job,” Goldsmith said.
Costantino knew what his backs were capable of, as both finished with more than 1,000 yards on the season, according to Costantino.
“They are so unselfish, they block for each other all the time,” Costantino said. “They are unbelievable, and they are both great lacrosse players.”
Knowing what Palmyra was capable of on the offensive side of the ball, it was important for Costantino and company to try and keep at least a two score lead.
“We didn’t want to keep them in it,” Costantino said. “Don’t make it a one play game, because then we are in trouble.”
No doubt this season was special for the Blue Devil seniors who were determined to get their head coach another state title this season.
“We knew from the get go that we had a huge opportunity to become 12-0 and we took advantage of every game,” Goldsmith said. “Some people say play for the team, I play for coach Costantino, I love him as a coach and a second father, we have built such a bond over these four years it’s crazy, and now we are 12-0.
Key play: After the Mclaughlin interception, Shore drove down the field and scored courtesy of a Goldsmith rush to put the lead up to three scores in the second half.
Offensive game balls: Both Goldsmith (260) and Britton (218) were a force on the ground for the Blue Devils.
Defensive game ball: The interception by Mclaughlin was big, but Mike Rosati recovered a fumble in the end zone for the Shore’s second TD of the game.
Staff Writer: Chris Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
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