McCartney's field goal lifts Point Beach to 10-7 win over Asbury Park

McCartney's field goal lifts Point Beach to 10-7 win over Asbury Park

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McCartney's field goal lifts Point Beach to 10-7 win over Asbury Park

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ASBURY PARK

In the middle of a tie game in the fourth quarter on a night hampered by a driving light rain and a steady wind coming off Deal Lake, Point Beach took over at the Asbury Park 47-yard line with 9:19 to play in a Shore Conference Class B Central contest on Friday evening.

After the teams had traded second-quarter touchdowns, the game had largely become a war of attrition thanks to the weather, but with that favorable field position, there was a sense the ensuing drive would be the last quality chance Garnet Gulls to secure a win and avoid overtime.

That notion proved correct as Zach McCartney’s 22-yard field goal with the wind at his back capped the scoring, not to mention a 13-play, 41-yard drive that spanned seven minutes, 30 seconds as Point Beach left Asbury Park High School Stadium with a 10-7 victory.

“Zach’s been a great kicker for us all year, so I think we were all comfortable with him kicking in that spot no matter what the conditions were,” said junior quarterback Jake Fioretti, who made several key plays on the game-winning drive.

Point Beach (4-1, 2-0) converted on third down twice on the drive to keep the chains and the clock moving. A third-and-4 from the 41 saw junior running back Joe Wegrzyniak pick up four of his hard-fought 79 yards for a first down. Three plays later, saddled with third-and-1 from the 27, Wegrzyniak picked up two yards.

Finally, on third-and-5 at the 20, head coach John Wagner called a quarterback keeper as Fioretti found a seam along the right sideline for seven yards and a fresh set of downs.

With one minute, 47 seconds and 65 yards to go for the tie or the win, Asbury Park (2-2, 2-1) needed just six plays to move to the Point Beach 26. Three broken plays and minimal led to a fourth-and-10 at the 26. Blue Bishops senior quarterback Robert Barksdale tossed a pass over the middle, but it was intercepted by junior Michael Frauenheim with 12.4 seconds to play. Point Beach then took a knee to end it.

“I thought we controlled the ball great,” Wagner said. “We played hard on both ends and the fact that we stood up and made some plays at the end was tremendous. We were really excited about. We had an opportunity in our (7-3) Spotswood loss (on Sept. 28) to make a play at the end of the game and we didn’t. Today, we did.”

The teams traded punts to open the game before Point Beach opened the scoring with a 16-play, 68-yard drive, capped by a Wegrzyniak 1-yard run on third-and-goal early in the second quarter.

Later in the second quarter, on second-and-10 from his own 45, Asbury Park senior running back Daquane Bland-Bennett took a pitch along the right side, juked four Garnet Gull defenders and then went by all four down the right sideline for a 55-yard score. The extra point from Amir Archer-Jones tied the game at 7.

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