Bengals turn it around

Bengals turn it around

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Bengals turn it around

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BARNEGAT

After a dismal showing that included 150 yards’ worth of penalties, against Point Pleasant Boro last week, Barnegat had to turn a corner this week if it wanted to even think about the state playoffs.

“We shot ourselves in the foot last week,” said Bengals sophomore quarterback Cinjun Ersikine, who led the way Friday night by rushing for 89 yards and three touchdowns, as Barnegat downed Lakewood, 24-13, in a Shore Conference Class B South game. “We had too many penalties and we just didn’t keep our composure. We absolutely had to turn things around tonight.”

The Bengals set a positive tone right from the first possession, which lasted just two plays after Erskine kept the ball, got to the outside and went the distance down the right sideline for a 55-yard touchdown on just the second play from scrimmage. Senior Pat Moran’s extra point gave the Bengals an early 7-0 lead.

After the Piners fumbled the ball away at the Barnegat 49 four plays later, the Bengals capitalized on the opportunity, using nine plays to bring the ball down to the Lakewood 14 before Moran booted a 32-yard field goal with 4:11 to go in the first quarter for a 10-0 advantage.

But Lakewood bounced back, as senior quarterback Tyrice Beverette orchestrated a 19-play drive, during which he ran the ball nine times, that culminated when he punched it into the end zone from a yard out with 6:10 left in the first half to help pull the Piners (5-2, 4-2) within 10-7.

On the Piners’ next possession, Beverette hit a wide-open David Patterson Jr. down the right sideline for a 45-yard pass play to put the ball on the Barnegat 20 and set up their next score, another 1-yard run by Beverette with 19.8 seconds left. However, the PAT was missed and Lakewood took a 13-10 lead into halftime.

“We just shook it off as if all that didn’t happen in the second quarter,” Erskine said about the atmosphere in the locker room at halftime. “We knew we had to come out and be more physical in the second half.”

After Lakewood punted on its second possession, which started at its own 12-yard line, the Bengals (4-3, 4-2) took over on the Piners’ 27 and took advantage of the short field to grab the lead.

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