Red Bank takes rematch with Brick Memorial to win South Group 4 Regional Invitational Tournament
LITTLE SILVER -- The new NJSIAA Regional Invitational Tournaments for non-playoff teams have been met with their fair share of eye rolls and skepticism, but for the players on these teams, it gave them an opportunity to extend their seasons and careers.
On Thursday night, Red Bank capitalized on that opportunity to continue its program building under head coach Shane Fallon.
Junior running back Gunnar Eckerstrom ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries and the defense allowed under 300 yards of offense and just one touchdown as the Bucs (7-3) rolled to a 33-6 victory over Brick Memorial to win the NJSIAA South Group 4 RIT.
It was a rematch of a Week 2 Freedom Division game won by Brick Memorial, 28-14.
Eckerstrom had a 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 65-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Senior quarterback Pierce Olsen tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Ky'Yam Martin, junior running back Lamar ran for an 8-yard touchdown, and senior kicker GianCarlo Dautaj kicked field goals of 20 and 29 yards. Hicks also had a 61-yard run that set up Eckerstrom's first touchdown.
Brick Memorial junior quarterback Connor Dietz ran for 129 yards and threw for 136 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Jeremiah Crispin caught seven passes for 80 yards and a touchdown and also intercepted a pass on defense. Senior defensive back Michael Dayton also had an interception.
Dietz entered the game needing 258 yards rushing and 62 yards passing to become the second player in state history to pass and rush for 2,000 yards each in a single season. Freehold's Ashante Worthy (2017) remains the only player to accomplish that feat. Dietz' tremendous junior season concluded with him breaking multiple program records and (unofficially) amassing 1,871 yards rushing and 2,077 passing yards.
Red Bank is now 7-3 under Fallon, who is in his second season as Bucs head coach after a championship career at Rumson-Fair Haven and tenures as Holmdel's Athletic Director and Neptune's head coach. Red Bank takes on Long Branch on Thanksgiving with a chance to reach eight victories for the first time since 2015.
Watch video highlights from Red Bank's 33-6 win over Brick Memorial