Middletown North Football Capture First Division Title Since 1983


Lion's Roar Staff, Writer

On Friday night, Middletown North traveled to Brick High School for a matchup with the Green Dragons on what would be a history making night.  The Middletown High School North Lions Football Program has not won a division title since 1983, the days of legendary Coach Vic Kubu.  The Lions knew that if they were going to erase last year’s 1-5 campaign, this was the night to do it.

Senior QB Tommy Giannone leads MHSN to a 22-8 victory vs Brick on October 8, 2021. Photo via: Doug Hood

Senior quarterback Tommy Giannone has made great strides during his second year as the Lions signal caller and led the Lions to the 2021 Independence Division Championship of the Shore Conference with a 22-8 victory over the Green Dragons. Giannone passed for 165 yards and one touchdown in the victory for the Lions to boost the Lions season record to 4-1.  Giannone’s performance pushed him over the 1,000 passing yards milestone for the season to go along with his 8 passing touchdowns on the year.

According to Middletown High School North Head Coach Steve Bush, “Tommy has grown a lot. He’s just much more confident. He’s got a good group of receivers and we protect him well.”

Middletown North played consistent football throughout the night.  Routinely converting on third down and keeping the offense on the field for extended periods of time.  Explosive plays also led to a key score for the Lions offense early in the game when Giannone hit receiver Levi Wilson for 36 yards to set up a four-yard rushing touchdown that gave the Lions a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.

Levi Wilson makes a spectacular catch between two Brick defenders. Photo via: Doug Hood

In the second quarter, Giannone drove the Lions unit down the field in the final moments of the first half and hit Wilson for a two-yard score and a two-point conversion with just seconds to play to turn an 8-6 deficit into a 14-8 lead going into halftime.  The Lions also received contributions from star running back Brian Haddow, who helped clinched the game with his punishing runs and a one-yard score in the third quarter. He finished the contest with 85 rushing yards.

The Middletown North Lions defense also showed up to play while shutting down Brick’s fierce ground game.   The Lions shut out the Green Dragons offense during the second half and only allowing a first half score that was a result of a short field possession after a blocked punt in the second quarter.

Congratulations to the 2021 Middletown High School North Football Players, Coaches, Cheerleaders and Staff on being crowned as the Independence Division Champions!

GAME STATS RECAP: Middletown North 22, Brick 8

Middletown North (4-1)

Brick (4-2)

First quarter scoring

MN: Wilson 4 run (kick no good)

Second quarter scoring

B: Grygiel 4 run (2 pt conversion good)

MN: Wilson 2 pass from Giannone (2 pt conversion good)

Third quarter scoring

MN: Haddow 1 run (2 pt conversion good)


Individual statistics

PASSING – MN: Giannone 12-15-0-165. B: Grygiel 5-11-0-80, Kurc 1-1-0-7.

RUSHING – MN: Haddow 19-85, Soto 5-20, Wilson 3-2, Cerbo 1-11. B: Weisneck 15-77, Grygiel 5-12, Kurc 2–13, Norman 1–2.

RECEIVING – MN: Cerbo 5-112, Wilson 3-46, Haddow 2-1, Searight 1-4, Soto 1-1.

*3 story photos via Doug Hood of the Asbury Park Press