BRICK — In what was already an eventful rivalry week, the ending of the Brick Township vs. Brick Memorial boys soccer game concluded in bizarre fashion.
As the Brick Memorial student section showed up for a “whiteout,” sporting white clothes, the game ended in a blackout, literally.
As both teams attempted to pull away from a 1-1 game about 10 minutes into the second half, the field lights shut off. Cellphone lights filled the stands and the field was pitch black as both teams jogged to their respective benches.
According to Brick Memorial head coach Steve Ferullo, the lights went off due to a local power outage. When the school’s faculty was unable to get the lights to be bright enough for the game to continue, it was called a draw.
“We were definitely robbed,” senior forward Lou Nazzaro said. “If we had that 30 minutes back on the clock, we would have won. But what are you going to do about it?”
The Dragons were the first score. Senior forward Frankie Firrito ran down the right side of the field and fell after being tangled up with Mustangs’ junior middle backer Sean Aubry. Brick was awarded a penalty kick as the foul took place inside the box.
Firrito hit the ball straight on into the left side of the goal, right outside the reach of Brick Memorial’s senior goalkeeper Brandon Byrnes.
“I have not been playing like myself,” Firrito said. “I have been in a dry spell for the past, probably even the last couple games of preseason, so having scored especially in a big game like this, it was good and I was happy.”
The Dragons led the Mustangs 1-0 until Memorial’s senior midfielder Brian Gerard connected a pass with Nazzaro, who finished the ball into the back of the net. Nazzaro’s goal tied the game at 1-1 with 24:16 remaining in the opening half.
“We knew it was early,” Nazzaro said. “We knew we were the better team and just remained calm.”
The Brick team played without three of its players, who Frazzitta said were suspended for their involvement in the brawl at the football game on Saturday. The coach said all three will return to school next Monday.
According to Frazzitta, the players’ absence was notable, stating “We might of had more answers if those guys were in.”
Frazzitta said he was “100 percent proud” of the players who stepped up despite the absence of their teammates.
“They played a great game and I am confident they would have continued to play a great game if it went through,” he said.
For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.