Pick Six was the winning ticket for Old Bridge High’s football team.
The Knights returned interceptions for touchdowns on the first play of the second and fourth quarter on their way to a 27-13 win Friday night over Monroe in the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division.
Michael Friedman returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown to start the second quarter and pull Old Bridge into a 6-6 tie with the Falcons. Ed Mish’s 43-yard TD return to begin the fourth period helped the Knights take a 20-13 lead and spoil Monroe’s Homecoming Night.
Mish also had an interception early in the third quarter that gave Old Bridge the ball at the Falcons’ 22 and set up Dwayne Trawick’s 3-yard touchdown catch on fourth down that tied the score at 13.
Old Bridge (4-2) overcame three turnovers in the first half, including an interception on the final play of the half, as none of its miscues led to points.
“We were a little upset with how we were playing, but we knew we could come back,” Mish said about the Knights’ 13-6 halftime deficit. “We just kept fighting because we have heart and really care about each other. We believe in each other.”
Monroe (3-3) scored on the game’s opening possession, marching 62 yards in eight plays. Akeer Franklin capped the drive with a 31-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Stephen Karoly, who was 4 of 4 for 55 yards during the series. The PAT kick was blocked.
The Knights tied the score on Friedman’s interception. The PAT kick was blocked.
After the Falcons’ defense stopped Old Bridge on a fourth-and-5 from the Monroe 35 thanks to C.J. Thompson’s pass breakup, the hosts drove the field in nine plays to take a 13-6 lead with 1:51 to go in the first half. Alex Rivera, who carried five times for 41 tough yards on the march, capped it with a 1-yard run.
Mish’s interception on Monroe’s first possession of the second half helped turn the game for the Knights.
“I saw it developing and our linemen did a great job pressuring the quarterback,” Mish said. “I just happened to be there to make the play.”
Mish’s pick to begin the fourth quarter gave Old Bridge the lead for good.
“I caught it and had a running start and everyone did a great job blocking,” Mish said. “We all deserved this. We came out in the second half and finished the game, which is what we need to do.”
Vincent Gargano’s 31-yard touchdown run with 1:44 to play sealed the win for Old Bridge, which rushed for 188 yards in the game.
“Defensively we made some plays and it was big,” Knights coach Anthony Lanzafama said. “Monroe is a good team and they’re well coached. Our guys just competed on every play. I’m proud of them for that.”