Falcons hold off Rockets for first win

Falcons hold off Rockets for first win


Falcons hold off Rockets for first win



Senior quarterback Jeff Farrah ran for a go-ahead 6-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter and host Monmouth Regional held on for a 13-10 victory over Raritan in a Class A Central game on Saturday.

It was the first win this season for Monmouth (1-3, 1-1). Raritan (0-5, 0-3) led 7-0 at halftime, but Monmouth scored twice in the second half to rally for the win.

“The kids have really taken ownership of the program and they played the way we want them to play the game,” Monmouth coach Jason Morrell said. “The guys really competed today.”

Raritan took a 10-6 lead when senior quarterback CJ Pulcine kicked a 22-yard field goal late in the third quarter. The Falcons answered with an 11-play, 65-yard touchdown drive as Farrah threw 30 yards to senior receiver Trevor Lastella and 25 yards to senior tight end Sheldon McCue, whose catch put Monmouth at the Raritan 1.

Monmouth then faced fourth-and-goal at the 6 after a false start and three plays for no gain. Farrah took the snap from the shotgun, faked an end-around handoff to junior running back Michael Reardon and ran up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown to give the Falcons their first lead at 13-10 with 9:45 left in the fourth quarter.

“We were debating between the pass and the run,” said Farrah, who was 13 of 25 for 172 yards. “I did a read and saw a hole and dove in there and scored.”

The Rockets drove into Monmouth territory on their final two possessions, but Monmouth held on downs. After Raritan reached the Monmouth 18 on the first drive, a third-down sack stalled the Rockets.

Raritan then drove to the Monmouth 41, but a sack by McCue pushed the Rockets back to the 45. One play later, the Falcons clinched the win after an incompletion on fourth-and-6 with 31 seconds left.

The Rockets took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Pulcine threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Jordan Joaquin on fourth-and-6. The score followed an interception by Raritan sophomore Colby Jones.

Monmouth pulled to within 7-6 with an eight-play, 59-yard drive in the third quarter. Farrah completed four passes for 44 yards and Reardon finished with a 7-yard touchdown run on a pitch.

Raritan dominated the first half, moving into Monmouth territory on all five of its possessions.


More USA TODAY High School Sports