HOLMDEL — Jordan Powell came to a realization midway through the fourth quarter Thursday night.
A recent graduate of Lacey Township High School, Powell was playing in his last high school football game.
The 6-foot-4, 218-pound defensive end made three tackles for losses, including two sacks.
But Powell and his Ocean County teammates still lost to Monmouth 28-7 in the U.S. Army All Shore Gridiron Classic at Holmdel High School.
“I get goose bumps just thinking about it being my last game,” said Powell, who will continue his career at the University of New Hampshire on a scholarship. “I went out with a bang.”
The All Shore Classic features many of the top recently graduated seniors in the Shore Conference. Fans filled the stands at Holmdel to watch on a comfortable summer evening. Monmouth leads the series 19-15-1.
Monmouth County dominated the second half Thursday. Monmouth scored three second-half touchdowns — two of them on touchdown passes from Anthony Carlucci of St. John Vianney.
Powell was named Ocean County’s outstanding defensive player.
Ocean County’s highlights were few. In addition to Powell, defensive tackle Matt Kelly of Southern Regional had a sack.
A roar went up from the stands when Powell’s name was announced as Ocean’s defensive player of the game. Powell helped Lacey finish 12-0 and win the South Jersey Group III title as a junior in 2010. He made 52 tackles and had three sacks as the Lions again made the Group III playoffs last fall.
“There was a lot of (Lacey) alumni,” Powell said of fans who cheered his name. “All my boys were in the stands to cheer me on.”
Powell’s play capped a big night for Lacey Township.
Lacey coach Lou Vircillo was inducted at halftime into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame.
“It was great to see ‘Coach V’ get his moment,” Powell said.
Before the game, the current Lacey team beat Howell 36-13 to win the Shore Confrence summer seven-on-seven title.
Despite the defeat, there were plenty of smiles by Ocean County players after the game.
“It was a great experience coming to practice with everyone and making friends,” Powell said. “They were your enemies during the season but you just end up making friends with everyone.”
Ocean County coach Rob Davis of Barnegat posed for a picture with five of his Barnegat players who participated in the contest.
“Every year this is just a great positive experience for the kids,” Davis said. “The game is gravy.”
Contact Michael McGarry:
Ocean 0 0 7 0—7
Monmouth 0 7 14 7—28
MC— John Sieckowski 2 run (Reiner Smit kick)
MC— Anthony Pante 44 pass from Anthony Carlucci (Smit kick)
MC—Tyheem Crawford 15 pass from Ryan Davies (Smit kick)
OC—Brandon Kieslor 2 run (Jon Azaceta kick)
MC— Matt Smith 21 pass from Carlucci (Smit kick)