Keyport quarterback Alex Thomson came through when the Red Raiders needed him most on Saturday afternoon.
With his team clinging to a 13-6 lead and momentum building for a Mater Dei Prep upset, Thomson led Keyport on a pair of fourth-quarter scoring drives that foiled the Seraphs’ upset bid and clinched a 27-6 win for the Red Raiders in Class B Central.
On Keyport’s opening drive of the fourth quarter, Thomson overcame a 15-yard penalty to put the Red Raiders up two touchdowns. On 1st-and-25 from Keyport’s 28-yard line, Thomson hit senior wideout Greg Armstrong for a 10-yard gain and then connected with senior tight end Tyler Alvarez for a short pass that went for a 61-yard touchdown.
“That was wide open,” Thomson said. “Right when I came out of the waggle, I saw Tyler open right away and I knew I was going to get it to him because he was open on the previous play and I didn’t hit him. I had to get that back for him.”
On the first play of Keyport’s next possession, Thomson hit Armstrong again for a 42-yard gain down the right sideline to get the Red Raiders moving. Four plays later Thomson scrambled nine yards and dove across the goal line to put Keyport up 27-6.
Thomson finished 4-for-10 for 134 yards with one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown and an interception.
The Red Raiders went to the ground for three quarters before allowing Thomson to air it out.
“It was a matter of getting into position to do those things,” said Keyport head coach Mike Ciccotelli. “We shot ourselves in the foot a couple times. I wanted to get in position where we could start to open everything up. We just couldn’t get there.”
Junior Emmanuel Martinez led the Red Raiders with 73 yards on nine carries and senior Johnny Olsen added 48 yards on eight carries. In the first quarter, Martinez punched in a 10-yard touchdown on Keyport’s first drive of the game and senior Angelo Mirogliotta added a 22-yard touchdown carry.
Three Keyport turnovers allowed Mater Dei to put a scare into the Red Raiders. In the third quarter, the Seraphs fell on a Martinez fumble. On the following play, quarterback Christian Palmer hit sophomore wide receiver Vincenzo Mezzacappa for a 39-yard score that pulled the Seraphs within a touchdown.
Two plays later, junior Sam Miles made an interception to regain possession for Mater Dei. On 4th-and- 8 from the Keyport 37, senior Nick Smutz sacked Palmer to end the Seraphs’ comeback hopes.