TOMS RIVER – The versatility of Brick Memorial’s offense was evident Friday night in a Class A South meeting with Toms River South.
Four players scored at least one touchdown, senior Matt Cuppari added a field goal and the Mustangs ended the game by scoring 24 unanswered points for a 31-7 victory at Detwiler Stadium.
Senior Tim Santiago led the rushing attack with 182 yards on 17 carries, and he compiled 112 yards on eight carries in the second half.
“I just trust my reads and follow my blocks,” Santiago said.
And that was a good formula to follow Friday.
Santiago got the Mustangs (6-2, 5-1) on the scoreboard first with his 28-yard strike to Cuppari for a 7-0 lead with 11:08 left in the first quarter.
Santiago then used his legs to get into the end zone in his next big moment in the game. On a first and 10 from the 29-yard line, Santiago sprinted 71 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
That touchdown drive came after Toms River South punted on its first and second drives of the second half and Brick Memorial fumbled away its first possession of the second half.
“Teams have to prepare to defend all of our runners,” Santiago said. “They can’t just key in on me because I can give it to Elie Lavarin and he could go for a big run, like he did in the second quarter.”
That Lavarin touchdown run went for 35 yards as he gave Brick Memorial a 14-7 lead with 2:39 left in the second quarter.
Toms River South (4-3, 3-3) responded to Brick Memorial’s first touchdown with a lengthy drive in the second quarter. The Indians went 67 yards on nine plays and finished off the drive with sophomore T.J. Scuderi’s 19-yard touchdown pass to senior Malcolm Gillespie with 4:46 left in the second quarter.
Key play: Santiago was the player that Toms River South couldn’t stop. On first and 10 from the 29-yard line, Santiago weaved his way through the Toms River South defense for a game-breaking 71-yard score which increased Brick Memorial’s lead to 21-7 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
Offensive game ball: Goes to senior quarterback Tim Santiago as he rushed for 182 yards on 17 carries and had one rushing touchdown of 71 yards and a passing touchdown of 28 yards to Matt Cuppari.
Defensive game ball: Goes to the Brick Memorial defense as the Mustangs had six sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Up next: Brick Memorial vs. Southern on Nov. 6; Toms River South vs. Brick, Nov. 6