Last Year the two big Teams in the Shore were Red Bank Catholic and Mater Dei Prep. The two teams were rocketing to the top of the charts by fans and this year the two giants were ranked side-by-side as #16 and #17 with RBC being on the top do to their win at the end of last season that brought to the NJSIAA Championship. However, this is a new season and the two teams have lost and gained a few players alongside some new additions to the coaching staff.
The Seraphs faced the Caseys in the first game of the 2020-2021 season at Count Basie Park. The stats don’t lie, both sides were almost evenly matched. The struggle for the ball was intense were both sides became locked in a push and pull battle without either side breaking their stride. In the End RBC stood on top with a final score 10-3. Now, a week later Mater Dei Prep is up against Middletown North, this was the game the Seraphs needed.
The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the gameplay for the season, while also extending the training season throughout September. The coaching staff at Mater Dei Prep is not one let a moment of training to go to waste and it was apparent within the first quarter of the game. The Lions of Middletown North were stopped by the defense line, unable to get into the endzone. The first quarter could have been seen as a warm up period for the Seraphs as they got the information on how the Lions were operating. The quarter ended 3-0 with Middletown North only up by a slight margin.
Entering in the second quarter Mater Dei Prep unleashed #5 Rajahn Cooper in to the endzone to make the first big play of the game. At 7-3 the lions were still pushing forward but that defense was not letting anything go past. The Seraphs offense was also something to take notice. Last year, the Seraphs had a large running team with the powerhouse Malik Ingram. Now, the team is utilizing quarterback Alex Brown’s focus to dip more into the throwing game.
The second half of Game play was over and both teams geared up for a full on fight. The Seraphs were first out of the gate with #1 Kody Gibbs who propelled down the sideline with an 80-yard Kick Return. That moment the realization and hard work from extra training during offseason was unleashed. Following closely behind was another Mater Dei Prep touchdown by #4 Tafari Thompson. The gap had stretched with the score 21-3. The quarter ended with Middletown North finally breaking through the defense and into the endzone that brought the score to 21-10.
As the final quarter was about to be played aside Mater Dei Prep’s momentum on the field, Middletown was not giving up easily. The Lions were on the ball, ready to play. The players didn’t slow down or let the Seraphs break through their defense with ease. The Lions continued on the pressure towards the endzone. Both sides got in one more touchdown for a final score of 28-17. Credit must be given to both sides. Mater Dei Prep worked past their loss against RBC and showcased some strong power that will probably help them in the upcoming game against Middletown South who took down RBC this week. On the other side you have to give a (job well done) to North for their tenacity to not give in, even when the odds are against you.
In the end, the Seraphs take home the win. We are looking forward to see who will be on the top of the Shore Conference this year with many teams fighting as if it’s their last game. Mater Dei Prep seems ready to them all on.