Junior linebacker Cody Cooper sacked quarterback Jeff Farrah in the end zone for a safety with 12 seconds remaining to give host Ocean Township a 15-13 win over Monmouth Regional on Thursday in a nondivisional game at Carelli Field.
Ocean (5-4-1), which extended its lead in the Thanksgiving portion of the series, to 15-2, had pinned Monmouth back to its own 2 on a 38-yard punt by Mark Diedrichsen that was down ed by Blake DeMeter.
Monmouth (2-8) moved to a first down before it was backed up to a third down inside its own 5 when Cooper sacked Farrah. Ocean had a timeout left when Monmouth ran the play.
The Spartans tied the game 13-13 on an 11-yard TD pass by senior quarterback Andrew Mehr to junior running back Danny Loizos in the third quarter, followed by a Diedrichsen extra point.
The Falcons built a 13-6 lead on a 53-yard Farrah to Sheldon McCue TD pass and Tyler Colonnelli PAT and a Farrah 11-yard TD run the third quarter.
Mehr had 14 carries for 81 yards and was 5-for-9 for 135 yards and a TD pass for Ocean. Royal Moore had three receptions for 103 yards and an interception for the Spartans.
Farrah was 10-for-17 for 241 yards and a TD with an interception and ran for 40 yards. McCue had five receptions for 139 yards and a TD.
IN OTHER GAMES
SOUTHERN 35, CENTRAL 0: Senior quarterback Dan Higgins threw for 216 yards and four TDs and set a the school’s season record for passing yards in a season as the Rams (8-2) defeated the Golden Eagles (3-6) in a nondivisional game.
Higgins, who was 16-for-19, now had 1,509 passing yards on the season. Mike Balak set the old record of 1,352 in 2009.
Southern, which plays at Eastern (7-3) on Nov. 30 in a NJSIAA South V semifinal, compiled 348 yards of total offense to set the school record for total yards in a season. The Rams now have 3,251 yards on the season. The old record was 3,208 set in 2008.
Higgins threw TD passes of 28 yards to Nick Hem and 5 yards to Mike Gesicki in the first quarter, 20 yards to Gesicki in the second quarter and 10 yards to Vinnie Colecchia in the third quarter.
Grant Bissey had a 4-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Southern cut Central’s lead in the series to 21-18-1, 9-8 on Thanksgiving Day. It was the first time the two had met on Thanksgiving Day since 1983 and the first time they had played each other since 2005.
HOLMDEL 30, RARITAN 27: Sophomore Frankie Condito ran for two TDs and scored another on a pass from senior quarterback Justin Russo and had nearly 250 yards of total offense as the Hornets (4-6, 2-4) rallied from an early 14-point deficit and defeated the Rockets (0-10, 0-6) in a Class A Central game.
Russo also threw a TD pass to Justin Gaynor and junior defensive back Mark Scherzer had an interception and fumble recovery.
It was Holmdel’s first win over Raritan in the five seasons the two have met on Thanksgiving.
BARNEGAT 49, PINELANDS 0: A.J. Opre ran for 245 yards and three TDs on just nine carries, including a 97-yard TD run, as the Bengals (5-5, 5-2) defeated the Wildcats (0-9, 0-7) on Wednesday night in a Class B South game.