Shore Game of the Week: Mater Dei ends losing streak with big plays

The Mater Dei Prep football offense prepares to run a play during pregame warmups at Saint John Vianney High School on Sept. 27.

On Oct. 25 at Middletown High School North, the Mater Dei Prep football team ended a three-game losing streak in decisive fashion.

Mater Dei beat Middletown North, 37-0, dropping 30 points in the first half and another seven early in the third quarter. Since the Seraphs’ last touchdown put them up by more than 35 points, the rest of the game was played with a running clock.

Mater Dei improved to 5-3 with the victory. The Seraphs are third in the NJSIAA Non-Public, Group 3 power points standings with a week to go in the regular season. Ten teams will make the Non-Public, Group 3 state playoff field.

Middletown North fell to 4-4. The Lions are 11th in the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 4 power points standings, where 16 teams will make the playoff bracket.

A group of electric playmakers sparked the victory for Mater Dei.

Naran Buntin scored a 74-yard sprint to a touchdown. Isaiah Noguera ripped off a 41-yard rushing score. And Clarence Lewis caught a 26-yard pass that set up his 15-yard receiving touchdown.

“Our speed is our advantage in most games,” Buntin said.

He’s not wrong, but that speed wasn’t quite enough the last three weeks. During its three-game skid, Mater Dei never put up more than 16 points in a game.

But the offense got back on track on Oct. 25. Mater Dei’s quarterback, Alex Brown, and running back, Malik Ingram, also played well.

Brown went eight for 13 for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Ingram carried the ball nine times for 98 yards and a score. Neither guy played in the second half because the result was well in hand.

Mater Dei’s defense had a stellar night as well, limiting Middletown North to just two first downs.

The Seraphs will try to end the regular season with another victory on Nov. 1 against Manalapan High School. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Mater Dei.

Middletown North’s regular season is over, so the Lions will now await their playoff seed. The state playoffs are scheduled to begin on Nov. 8 and 9.