Matawan rallies to beat Ocean

Matawan rallies to beat Ocean

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Matawan rallies to beat Ocean

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OCEAN

The way Matawan played on Friday night at Ocean’s Carelli Field mirrowed the way it practiced on Thursday, according to junior quarterback/defensive back Kashaun Barnes.

“We came out lazy in the first half (of Thursday’s practice),” Barnes said. “It was a defensive day. Coach (John Kaye) told us to run laps until we were ready to play. We came out to practice in the second half, and that’s the same way we played in the game.”

The Huskies, ranked No. 4 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10, fell into a 13-point hole in the first 11 minutes of the game before rallying to take the lead by halftime. Matawan then went on to record a 27-13 win in a Shore Conference Class B North game.

“You practice how you play,” said Barnes, who threw a TD pass and also ran for a TD. “Now, we saw it. It was a wakeup call for us.”

“We got a lot of guys playing their first varsity football,” said Kaye. “And at times, we’re going to have breakdowns because we’re just inexperienced.

“But, as we get going through the year, we’ll get better every weekend.”

Ocean (1-2, 0-2), which was playing its first game since Sept. 7 after it had to forfeit to Neptune last week because of an impetigo outbreak amongst its players, jumped out to its lead on two big plays.

First, on Ocean’s fourth play from scrimmage, freshman running back Tyler Thompson scored from 14 yards out on a zone play. That came one play after he took a zone play to the right and raced 45 yards to the Matawan 14.

Then, late in the first quarter, Spartans senior quarterback Andrew Mehr scampered 58 yards for a TD on a third-and-9 play.

“There were times where we played poorly because of the way practiced over the week,” Kaye said.

However, midway in the second quarter, things turned suddenly for the Huskies (3-0, 2-0). After mustering just one first down on its first four possesions, the Huskies moved 65 yards in seven plays.

Barnes’ first completion of the game — a 23 yarder to juniot tight end Nick Tomkins moved the Huskies to the Spartans’ 30. Then, on the next play, senior running back John Alston took a “Jet Sweep” to the left and raced 30 yards for the TD to make it 13-7.

Barnes and Alston combined to end a 43-yard drive on Matawan’s next possession when they teamed up for a 14-yard TD pass on a third-and-11. The extra point by junior placekicker Mike Creamer gave Matawan a 14-13 lead with 1:54 left in the first half.

The Huskies were not done for the half as they forced an Ocean to punt the ball from its own 15 with 17.5 seconds left in the first half. Freshman Khalil Haskins muffed the punt, picked up the ball at the Spartans’ 43 and returned it to the 16. Creamer then booted a 32-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

A Creamer 38-yard field goal and a Barnes’ 9-yard TD run after Matawan recovered an Ocean fumbled snap closed out the scoring.

“We found a way, but sooner or later, we’re going to put 48 minutes together and we’re going to be pretty good,” Kaye said.

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