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A Hot Night Of Football – The Gridiron Classic

About the last thing you would want to do on a 90 plus degree evening with stifling humidity is play a football game but that’s what about 90 recent high school graduates did last night at Toms River North.


In oppressive conditions the Monmouth County All-Stars continued their recent dominance of Ocean County and came away with a 19-7 victory in the 36th Annual U.S. Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic. The game was interrupted in the first quarter by several bolts of lightning which sent the teams off the field for about 30 minutes and during that break it rained briefly but fortunately there were no delays the rest of the way.

Ajee Patterson of Neptune
Ajee Patterson of Neptune received the Open M.R.I. Of Wall/Ocean Trophies Monmouth County Player of the Game award. He threw a pair of touchdown passes to help Monmouth to a 19-7 victory. (Brad Burascano, Townsquare Media NJ)

Leading the winning Monmouth County squad were quarterback Ajee Patterson and defensive end David Calderon of Neptune and Colts Neck receiver Tim Vangelas, who caught a pair of touchdown passes. The Ocean County effort was led by quarterback Ryan Cieplenski of Brick Memorial who threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Andre Cochran of Point Beach and defensive end Dan Watson of Brick, who had a pair of sacks.

About 3000 fans braved the sweaty conditions to watch Monmouth take a 20-15 overall lead in the series (with one tie). At halftime the Shore Football Coaches Foundation inducted Southern Regional coach Chuck Donohue Sr. and former Matawan coach Joe Martucci into their Hall of Fame. Also saluted were former coaches Ron Emmert, George Jeck and Bob Strangia along with Ken Turp for their many years of working together in broadcasting games on cable TV.

Andre Cochran, a recent graduate of Point Pleasant Beach, receives the OPEN M.R.I. Of Wall/Ocean Trophies Ocean County Player of the Game award. Cochran scored Ocean’s only touchdown when he caught A 29-yard pass from Ryan Ceplienski in the 2nd quarter. (Brad Burascano,Townsquare Media NJ)

OceanFirst Foundation hosted 140 scholarship recipients and their families this week during a reception at the Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury. This was the fourth straight year that OceanFirst Foundation awarded $200,000 in scholarships to high school seniors to help continue their education at Monmouth University, Georgian Court University, Ocean County College and Brookdale Community College.

The selected students attending Brookdale and OCC each received $1000 while those on their way to Monmouth or Georgian Court were awarded $2500. The OceanFirst Foundation was created in 1996 by OceanFirst Bank and in that time has contributed more than $24 million to local charities and causes.

A dozen Ocean County high school students were honored earlier this month by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association as part of their scholarship program. Among the recipients was Brick Township High School’s Nicholas Auriemma, who received a $2500 scholarship from the New Jersey Devils.

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