Red Bank Catholic won the Non-Public/Catholic Group 3 championship by beating Monmouth County neighbor, Mater Dei, 14-10.First Quarter: Mater Dei began the game going down the field with the big play being a 38-yard pass from Rob McCoy to Isaiah Noguera to the 33. But the Seraphs turned it over on downs and Red Bank Catholic took over on the 19.
Second Quarter: RBC opened the scoring when Steve Lubischer scored from eleven yards out. Key plays on the drive were when Lubischer found Jaden Key for 39 yards to the Mater Dei 42 and the Caseys running a fake punt by John Columbia successfully for a first down. Mater Dei were moving the ball all night behind the running of Malik Ingram and had their first points when Gavin Toth kicked a 27-yard field goal with ten seconds left.
Third Quarter: Red Bank Catholic came out with the ball and wet 80 yards, with Billy Guidetti scoring a 3-yard touchdown to extend the lead, 14-3. The Caseys were in good position when Anthony Romano intercepted on the 49, but Mater Dei turned the tables when Clarence Lewis intercepted on the 18. Rob McCoy went 20 yards to the 49 and Ingram went 51 yards down the left sideline for a a touchdown to make it a 14-10 game. RBC later went for it on a fourth-and-2, but were thrown for a 2-yard loss, giving Mater Dei the ball on the 27. McCoy then fumbled to give the ball back to the Caseys.
Fourth Quarter: Mater Dei had the ball in RBC territory, but Ingram fumbled and Red Bank Catholic recovered on the 32. Then Guidetti fumbled to give Mater Dei the ball back. Ingram ripped off runs of 34 and 22 yards, giving them the ball on the 9. On third-and-goal on the 5, McCoy ran twice, but only went as far as the 2 and RBC had the ball with 4:52 left. The Caseys gave themselves breathing space when Lubischer found Kevin Bauman for a 55-yard pass to the 42. Mater Dei had one last chance on their 14 with three minutes left, but a pass to Isaiah Alston down to the 25 was called back on a penalty. RBC’s defense stiffened and the championship went to the Caseys.
Summary: Red Bank Catholic did enough to come out on top in a game that could have gone either way. Linebacker Steve Cmielewski had a good game, Bauman showed why he will be at Notre Dame in two years, and Lubischer is one of the better quarterbacks in the state. Mater Dei has some outstanding athletes and Izaiah Henderson was all over the field on defense. One who gets overlooked is Ingram, who takes a back seat to no running back in the state and one of his best qualities is his ability to run forward without hesitation. I personally would have had him run the ball on third and/or fourth down inside the 10 in the fourth quarter.