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Football Playoffs: Shore Advances to Sectional Final

A look at Shore Conference teams in the NJSIAA playoffs

A roundup of Shore Conference teams playing in the NJSIAA football playoffs, compiled from app.com, nj.com and allshoremedia.net:

Shore Regional 31, Asbury Park 7: The Blue Devils (9-2) advanced to the Central Jersey Group I championship game as Mark Costantino rushed for four touchdowns to dethrone the Bishops (6-4), last year's sectional champion.

Costantino, who finished with 122 yards, rushed for a 59-yard score to open the game, then tacked on touchdowns of 4, 24 and 3 yards. He had lots of support in the running game, with Jack Kelly rushing for 59 yards on 13 carries, Brian  Miller rushing for 47 yards on 5 carries and Kevin Masica carrying 5 times for 26 yards.

Jake Monteiro kicked a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Shore, which won the Central Jersey Group I title in 2010, face Florence, which lost to Asbury Park last year, next weekend for the championship.

Florence 17, Point Pleasant Beach 14: The Garnet Gulls' magical season came to an end Friday night, at the hands of a familiar foe.

The Flashes (10-1) from Burlington County, who knocked Point Beach out of the playoffs last year, kicked a field goal midway through the fourth quarter, then stopped the Gulls at the 10-yard line with no time remaining in the Central Jersey Group I semifinal in Point Beach.

It is the most successful season Point Beach has had since 1982, when the Gulls (10-1) advanced to the sectional championship game.

The Gulls opened the scoring when quarterback Jake Fioretti connected with Andre Cochran for a 16-yard touchdown. Florence responded with a 2-yard touchdown by Curtis Thompson.

Point Beach took a 14-7 lead going into halftime when tight end Nick Fiore caught a pass from Fioretti and ran in for a 26-yard score.

Florence then tied the game in the third quarter when Eric Chapman intercepted Fioretti and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.

Point Beach lost senior running back Danny Tighe in the third quarter after he suffered a serious leg injury.

Southern Regional 30, Eastern 27: Abe Gonzalez scored four touchdowns, including catching a 3-yard touchdown pass from Dan Higgins with 21 seconds left, as the Rams advanced to the South Jersey Group V championship.

Southern (9-2) went ahead 14-0 on touchdown runs of 54 and 2 yards by Gonzalez. But Eastern (7-4) rallied as Tom Flacco threw touchdown passes of 14 and 33 yards to tie the game. 

Southern responded with another run by Gonzalez, but Flacco wasn't done either, tossing two more touchdown passes as Eastern took a 6-point lead after the Rams blocked the extra point attempt.

It was Southern's turn to rally, and the Rams did so. After forcing Eastern into a fourth-and-9, the Vikings chose to take a safety rather than punt. Southern then responded with two long passes that set up Gonzalez's touchdown.

Southern will face Williamstown next weekend at Rowan University for the championship.

Neptune 28, Allentown 21: The Scarlet Fliers (9-2) advanced to the Central Jersey Group III title game as Geoff Fairbanks caught three touchdown passes from Ajee Patterson, including a 76-yarder that sealed the victory.

Fairbanks finished with 198 yards receiving, and Patterson, who also threw a touchdown pass to Sekou Harris, was 19 of 25 passing for 296 yards, with two interceptions.

Manalapan 17, Hunterdon Central 7: Tyler Leonetti rushed for two touchdowns and Mike Caggiano kicked a 30-yard field goal as the Braves (11-0) advanced to the Central Jersey Group V championship.

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