Grogan returns from leg injury to lift Manasquan

Grogan returns from leg injury to lift Manasquan

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Grogan returns from leg injury to lift Manasquan

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MANASQUAN

Not even severe pain could prevent Connor Grogan from playing a starring role.

“I felt like I was dying,” the Manasquan senior wide receiver said.

Grogan fought through the pain like a warrior. His 19-yard touchdown dash helped the Big Blue Warriors past Wall, 14-7, in non-divisional play Thankgiving Day.

Grogan suffered an injured left leg running an out route in the first quarter.

“I was hit pretty hard,” he said, “and it was hard to put weight on it. Our trainers fixed me up. It’s a possible broken leg. There was numbness right below my knee to my toes.”

Grogan said he missed the first half of the opening quarter and returned to action in the third quarter.

“The trainers put ice on the injury,” he said. “It was my last game. I was dying to get back in there. Nothing could stop me from getting back into it. I had to be out there. I knew my teammates would pick me up.”

Grogan scored with 10:04 left in the third quarter, capping a five-play, 62-yard drive. Senior Mark Schatzman kicked the extra point for a 14-7 lead.

Grogan hit the end zone on a reverse around left end, following the blocks of wide receiver Chris Miller and linemen Monte Sinisi and Matt Forst. Grogan fumbled the ball in the Manasquan backfield after taking the handoff, but recovered.

“Chris threw a key block on the outside,” Grogan said. “The pursuit was to the left. Our guys picked it up and gave me the corner. When I go around the corner, I know I can make moves and find open space.”

Manasquan junior running back Joe Murphy, who rushed for 120 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries on the day, keyed the drive, the first series of the second half.

Murphy, running exclusively up the middle, battered the Crimson Knights for runs of 11, 12 and 11 yards to move Manasquan to the Wall 28-yard line. Junior running back Joe Fittin swept right end for 9 yards to the 19 and Grogan scored on the following play.

“Manasquan football has been known for power ever since I was a little kid,” Grogan said. “We will run power until they stop it. That opens up stuff for me on the outside and it’s exactly what happened.”

Grogan, who hopes to attend an Ivy League school, said he will miss playing high school football.

“It’s hard to narrow down the ways I will miss it,” he said. “I have been around Manasquan football since I was seven. I have been going to this game since I was two or three years old. I will miss my coaches, my best role models ever. I will miss walking out in front of the sea of Manasquan faithful and looking at that Vic Kubu Warrior Field sign.”

Wall took a 6-0 lead with 56.3 seconds left in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Jack Gifford floated a 2-yarder to senior Tyler Ossenfort. Junior Phil Shields kicked the extra point.

Manasquan tied the game at six with 11:06 left in the first half on Murphy’s 4-yard touchdown run. Schatzman kicked the extra point.

The Warriors lead the Thankgiving portion of the series, 7-6.

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