Barnes' TD lifts Huskies to OT win

Barnes' TD lifts Huskies to OT win

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Barnes' TD lifts Huskies to OT win

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ABERDEEN

An overtime touchdown run by quarterback KaShaun Barnes and a key stop by linebacker Dan Incle highlighted a 21-14 victory for Matawan over Freehold in a Shore Conference Class B North game Friday night.

Barnes ran nine yards to notch his second TD of the game for No. 4 Matawan to open overtime. When upset-minded Freehold began its possession, Incle was there to turn back Cequan Rush-Smith for a 5-yard loss.

“They were running a lot of power-counters with him but we came up with a scheme to stop it,” Incle said. “We just had our line stacked up and looked to hit gaps. My responsibility was to see where he was going.”

Rush-Smith, who otherwise ran for 132 yards, was also contained on a game-ending 4th-and-5.

“He was running all over the place the whole game. We stopped him at the right times,” Incle said.

Matawan (2-0, 1-0), coming off a state sectional championship season, struggled to move the ball against Freehold (0-2, 0-1) and achieved one first down in the first quarter and none in the second quarter.

Freehold, a 23-13 loser to Lakewood last week, was effective mostly when Rush-Smith ran the ball. Quarterback Brad Jones rarely had open receivers but short-armed the ball on other occasions. Jones completed 4 of 22 passes for 48 yards.

“We’re still not there but we were better than last week,” Freehold coach Dave Ellis said. “We’re still learning how to practice hard and do the right things.”

Still, Freehold seemed on the verge of an upset when it scored a go-ahead touchdown with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter on Rush-Smith’s eight-yard run.

Freehold’s squib kickoff, however, went to John Alston, who briefly looked surrounded by tacklers but broke out to return the ball 70 yards to Freehold’s 18.

Alston caught an 18-yard pass from Barnes, and the quarterback scored on a 5-yard scamper, tying the game at 14-14 with 19 seconds left.

The wild finish came after a sluggish first half.

Matawan carried a 7-0 lead through most of the first half but yielded a game-tying touchdown on the last play of the second quarter. Freehold had earlier pushed to Matawan’s 23 with an 11-play drive until losing the ball on downs, but an exchange of punts left Freehold with the ball at midfield and one more chance in the second quarter.

Jones connected with Rayshon Webber for a 25-yard pass and threw 12 yards to tight end Kevin Smith in the end zone as time expired.

Matawan had taken the lead 3:10 into the game on a 6-yard pass from Barnes to Shawn Johnson, points that were sent up by a punt block by senior Glenn Cross.

The Cross heroics on special teams punctuated a stop by Matawan on Freehold’s promising first possession of the game, with the Colonials unable to move the ball after Daniel Martucci recovered his team’s game-opening onside kick. Tight coverage by Matawan’s John Alston broke up a Brad Jones to Kevin Smith pass attempt on third and long.

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