Shore Conference Rewind: Week 2
Player of the Week: WR/CB Ryan Mazik, Howell
The two-way standout for the Rebels (left) made significant impacts on both sides of the ball Friday night to help secure a 55-35 victory over Freehold Boro in an A North showdown. Mazik staked Howell to a 7-0 lead on its third play from scrimmage, catching a pass from senior QB Eddie Morales in stride and taking it 59 yards for the opening score. His anticipation in the secondary reaped two of the Rebels' four interceptions, one of which he returned 45 yards for a TD. Mazik finished with four receptions totaling 157 yards.
For the season, Mazik (6-2, 185) has six grabs for 170 yards to balance his three interceptions for Howell (2-0, 2-0). His instincts on defense and aggressive challenges against the pass make it abundantly clear his corner is not one quarterbacks want to test too often. Offensively, Mazik and fellow seniors Nasiem Brantley and Patrick Handy form one of the Shore's top receiving crews as well as a larcenous secondary; Brantley returned an inteception 95 yards for a score versus Freehold Boro and has two picks for the season while Handy accounted for the other interception in the Rebels' win, stepping in to intercept a throw at the Howell 7 to defuse a threat.
Let's Veer It For the Boys
Brick Memorial and Point Pleasant Boro each subscribe to the flexbone, an intricate offense to execute and an even tougher one to contain when performed at its highest levels. Each managed to run it at optimum efficiency on Saturday afternon, both on the road and each pocketing a critical division win in the process.
Hard to find a quarterback who embodies the nuances to make the flexbone tick better than James Fara. Point Boro's senior quarterback is a master at disguising the football, selling misdirection and reaping the rewards, as he did in a 27-0 shutout at Lacey. Fara scored on runs of 28 and 82 yards en route to 164 yards on 14 carries in the Panthers' 27-0 shutout at Lacey. Playing without injured RB Tanner Gordon, Nate Chiarello stepped in admirably at the A back (eight carries for 21 yards) while Brandon Cipriano balanced his 87 yards rushing by making an outstanding 23-yard catch in the back of the end zone off a perfect throw from Fara on the final play of the first half.
Meanwhile, Blaine Netterman made the most of five carries, racing 75 and 24 yards for TDs and picking up 120 in total while Tony Thorpe handled the majority of the carries for Brick Memorial, turning 23 into 135 yards and a score in the Mustangs' impressive 28-14 victory at Toms River North. QB Tyler Sindel got in on the act, keeping 13 times for 57 yards, including a 20-yard scoring scamper.
Worthy of mention