Palmer helps Bucs win a thriller

Palmer helps Bucs win a thriller

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Palmer helps Bucs win a thriller

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NEPTUNE

Red Bank went all-or-nothing in search of its first victory this season.

Bucs sophomore receiver Sadiq Palmer ensured the Bucs were not to be denied.

Moments after catching a 25-yard touchdown pass, Palmer ran for a 2-point conversion to cap the second overtime and lift Red Bank to a thrilling 36-35 victory over Neptune in a Class B North game Saturday at Memorial Field.

“We’ve been working hard all week in practice. We had to have this,” Palmer said.

Red Bank (1-4, 0-3), overcame six turnovers, including four in the first half, and a 21-14 deficit in the fourth quarter to taste victory for the first time this season. The Bucs, who had scored just 19 total points in their first four games, earned their first win against Neptune (2-4, 1-3) for the second straight year.

“We said, ‘Let’s play four or more,’ and we went more,” Red Bank coach Nick Giglio said. “Things are starting to click and it showed today. I can’t be more proud of this team.”

The game was tied at 21 after regulation, and both teams exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime. Neptune then took a 35-28 lead in the second overtime by driving 25 yards in five plays as quarterback Shakeem Richardson ran in for a 1-yard touchdown and Hunter Daly made the last of his five extra points.

Red Bank answered when running back Trevor Reilly, who scored on a 31-yard touchdown run in the first overtime, took a pitch and pulled up for a halfback option pass. The left-hander hit an open Palmer, who hauled in the 25-yard touchdown pass for his third score of the game to pull the Bucs to within 35-34.

“They have an aggressive defense and you have to do things like that, and we did and it paid off,” Giglio said.

Giglio then decided to go for the 2-point conversion and the win. It was Palmer who got the call, and he took a toss to his left, found an opening and dove into the end zone for the win as the Bucs ran onto the field in celebration.

“We had an opportunity and we took it and it paid off,” Giglio said. “Sadiq is a guy who’s a sophomore and he graduated to a junior now. He’s someone we wanted to get the ball to more.”

It was Palmer who scored the tying touchdown in the fourth quarter. With Neptune leading 21-14, Red Bank drove 80 yards in five plays as quarterback Joe Persico threw 64 yards to Jimmy Ferrogine and found Palmer in the middle of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown on third-and-7. Bucs kicker Eduardo Lino added the third of his four extra points to make it 21-all with 5:02 remaining.

Neptune had taken a 21-14 lead when Richardson scored on a 1-yard run with 7:46 left. The Scarlet Fliers took possession at the Bucs 5 after a 30-yard interception return by Neptune linebacker Byron Campbell.

Red Bank also trailed 14-7 at halftime, but tied the game at 14 when running back Xavier Chestnut ran for a 53-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.

Richardson finished with 119 yards passing and 86 yards rushing for Neptune, running for three touchdowns and throwing for another score.

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