If you’re a South Jersey high school football fan and haven’t yet heard of Millville sophomore wide receiver Lotzeir Brooks, you haven’t been paying attention very well.
The speedster had a tremendous freshman season and seems poised to do even more in his second season, if the Battle at the Beach showcase event is any indication. All he needed was four catches to rack up 183 yards and two touchdowns, as he scored on grabs of 69 yards and 95 yards in the second quarter as Millville routed Thomas Jefferson (Pa.) 41-10.
That performance did a lot for rookie quarterback Jacob Zamot — younger brother of former Holy Spirit star quarterback Josh Zamot — who finished with 360 passing yards and four touchdowns on 18 attempts.
But the Thunderbolts weren’t just good through the air, Na’eem Sharp rushed 13 times for 119 yards and a touchdown. Millville racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense in the win.
Here’s a quick look at some other standouts from the Battle at the Beach, which is in its second year at Carey Stadium in Ocean City and quickly has become a premier season-opening event for South Jersey football:
Jamie Tyson, WR/DB, Mainland: The junior — who started making a name for himself as a basketball player last winter when he led Mainland to its first Cape-Atlantic League Tournament championship as a No. 8 seed — showed he can play some football, too, in the Mustangs’ 37-0 win over Egg Harbor Township. He caught a 22-yard touchdown pass, then scored from 60 yards out after scooping up a fumble, and even recorded an interception — all in the second quarter.
Nate Kashey, PK, Mainland: How bout the freshman, a few days shy of his 14th birthday, goes out and hits all five of his extra-point attempts in the Stangs’ win over EHT. Clutch performance.
Jahki Coates, QB, Salem: If you’re going to keep your eye on a kid this fall, Coates is definitely one to check the stat sheet on every week. In just one game he’s already the state’s leader in touchdowns as he racked up six in the Rams’ 53-13 win over Cedar Grove. He scored three rushing touchdowns in the second quarter then added three passing scores in the second half, and finished with 211 passing yards and 151 more on the ground. Sheesh.
Mason Forte, PK, Holy Spirit: He may have missed a couple of extra points, but he came through when it mattered, registering a game-winning 23-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Spartans to a dramatic 34-31 win over Cherokee.
Sean Burns, QB, Holy Spirit: The Spartans and Cherokee put up some video game numbers in their Battle at the Beach tilt, as Burns lit up the stat sheet with 365 passing yards and four touchdowns. He completed a whopping 28-of-37 attempts. Teammate Jahcere Ward did his part as well, rushing for 170 yards and a touchdown in his first varsity start. There were plenty of other stat monsters from this game, as Spirit receiver Gavin Roman finished with 165 yards and a touchdown and Cherokee’s Brandon “Bam” Boria grinded out 195 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Micah Ford, QB, Toms River North: Ford showed why he’s one of the best players in the Shore Conference, as he passed for 86 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 131 yards and two scores to lead the Mariners to a tough 28-21 win over Washington Township.
Logan Brown, LB, Washington Township: Brown was all over the field trying to contain Ford and the Mariners’ offense on Saturday, as he registered 13 total tackles.
Jared Dzierzgowski, QB/DB, Washington Township: It may be hard to say his last name, but it’s easy to see he’s going to really make a name for himself this year after earning the QB1 job last year as a sophomore. Against Toms River North he threw for 85 yards and rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns, while also making 11 tackles on defense as a safety.
Champ Long, QB, St. Peter’s Prep: Is that not a great name for a quarterback? Kid played great, too, in the Marauders’ 41-7 win over St. Augustine Prep. The University of Maryland commit threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns on 27 attempts.
Billy Smith, QB, Cedar Creek: The Pirates may have lost, 42-21, to Edison in the final game of the showcase, but Smith was impressive in his first varsity start. He completed better than half of his 23 attempts and finished with 171 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was sophomore Darius Benjamin, who finished with 101 yards and a touchdown on six catches.