High School Football: Jackson Liberty Back in the Right Direction with 63-28 Win over Pinelands
By Dean Pinto
Coming off of two straight losses, the Lions needed to find a way to get the offense back on track…and did they ever, scoring a school record high 63 points in the 63 -28 win over Pinelands in front of a large crowd for “homecoming” night at Liberty.
Liberty was the first to strike; after starting their second drive set up by a 52 yard punt return by sophomore #23 Dom Regina, fellow sophomore and new QB #5 Matt Castronuova picked up the bad snap over his head, and scrambled in for the TD. The PAT kick by #11 Mike Ostrowski was good for the 7-0 lead. Pinelands would respond on the next drive with an 83 yard TD run by their QB #21 Dan MacPhee, but their PAT kick was no good.
Liberty came right back and after having a rushing TD called back due to a holding penalty, the Lions put up another 7 point on a pass from Castronuova to #23 Dom Regina and PAT by Ostrowski, giving the Lions a 14-6 lead. On second down of their next possession, Pinelands would have pass intercepted by #20 Mike Casado, which led to Liberty’s third TD of the game on a 4 yard run by Regina and Ostrowski’s PAT giving Liberty the 21-6 lead.
On their own 5 yard line and with only 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Liberty would hand the ball off to Almodovar, who would take it down the right sideline and break it on great blocking by #81 Danny Niblack for a 95 yard rushing TD, to which Ostrowski would add the PAT, giving Liberty 28-6 lead going into the second quarter.
The second quarter belonged all to the Wildcats offense as they managed to put up 15 unanswered points and pulled within a touchdown of Liberty with the score at halftime, Liberty 28, Pinelands 21.
The Lions defense came out after halftime, and dominated, holding Pinelands scoreless, while the offense of Liberty had two great rushing TD’s, a 21 yard run by Bruce Almodovar and a 48 yard run by Matt Castronuova. Giving Liberty a 42 – 21 lead into the 4th quarter. Almodovar would finish the night with a total of 163 yards rushing. The defensive front, led by Corey Foltzer, Chris Cruz, Justin Goodman and Linebacker, Jeremy Sousa stuffed any plays to the middle.
The start of the fourth quarter saw Mike Casado with his second pick of the game, but after a sack and fumble of Lions QB Bob Davies, Pinelands would score on a 2nd and goal at the one yard line making the score 42-28. It would be all Jackson Liberty after that, as Castronuova was forced to scramble and ran a 49 yard touchdown, giving him 180 total yards rushing on the night. Liberty would also see a 46 yard rushing TD for Dom Regina, who finished with 61 rushing yards and 3 TD’s, and a 39 yard rushing TD for junior running back #22 Dale Thomas bringing the final score to Liberty 63, Pinelands 28.