Host Shore Regional clinched the top seed in the NJSIAA Central Group I playoffs with a 35-7 Shore Conference Class B Central win over Keyport on Friday night.
It’s the third time in four years the Blue Devils (7-1, 4-0) have clinched the top seed in Central Group I. In the last four seasons, their record at the cutoff date was 27-5. Shore will open at home this year against an opponent to be determined.
Shore exploded for 35 straight points. Keyport (5-4, 2-3) took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, cashing in a Shore turnover before the Blue Devils erupted. Shore led 14-7 at halftime and 35-7 through three quarters.
Shore’s Doug Goldsmith and Brian Miller each rushed for two touchdowns. Teammate James Murphy ran for one touchdown.
MANALAPAN 56, HOWELL 7: Tyler Leonetti rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 19 attempts, powering the visiting Braves (8-0, 5-0) past the Rebels (3-5, 2-3) in Class A North.
The Braves clinched a top two seed in Central V and a tie for the Class A North title. A win over Marlboro gives the Braves outright possession of the title.
Saeed Blacknail caught a touchdown pass of three yards from Dan Anerella and a 31-yarder from Charles Lombana. Anerella completed four of eight passes for 38 yards. Lombana connected on two of three passes for 31 yards.
For Manalapan, Chris Noesges scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Imamu Mayfield scored from two yards. Dan Debner jetted 65 yards with a punt return for a score. He has scored four touchdowns on special teams this year.
John Cheung added a 9-yard touchdown run and junior Mike Caggiano kicked eight of eight extra points. Caggiano is 47-for-47 on PATs this year.
Manalapan rushed for 250 yards on 37 carries. The Braves held Howell to minus 18 yards on 14 carries. Howell threw for 103 yards. Manalapan led 21-0 through one quarter, 35-7 at halftime and 49-7 through three quarters.
BARNEGAT 17, RED BANK 7: Cinjun Erskine and Tyler McGuiness scored touchdowns and Ryan Ulrich kicked a field goal for the visiting Bengals (7-1) in their non-conference win over the Bucs (1-7).
The Bengals qualified for the South Group III playoffs for the fifth time in their eight-year history. They clinched at least a tie for the Class B South title as Manchester beat Central on Friday night. A win over Pinelands Regional on Thanksgiving will give the Bengals outright possession of the title for the second time in the last three years.
Erskine and McGuiness scored on runs of four and 12 yards. Ulrich opened the scoring with a 37-yard field goal and kicked two extra points. Barnegat tied its school single-season wins record.
POINT BORO 19, LAKEWOOD 18: A fourth-quarter defensive stand preserved the Panthers’ (1-8, 1-6) win over the Piners (5-3, 4-3) in Class B South.
Sophomore linebacker Nate Husak tackled the Lakewood quarterback on a draw play at the Panthers’ half-yard line and time ran out. With two minutes left in the third quarter, Point Pleasant Boro quarterback Jack Fitzsimmons scored on a 1-yard run to tie the game at 18. Colin Ansbach kicked the extra point for a 19-18 lead.
Fitzsimmons also scored on a 9-yard run and tossed a 32-yard scoring pass to Brendan O’Hara. Lakewood led 18-12 at halftime.
ASBURY PARK 30, KEANSBURG 0: Robert Barksdale rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries to lead the host Blue Bishops (6-2, 3-2) past the Titans (1-8, 0-5) in Class B Central.
Barksdale scored from 4 and 24 yards in the second quarter in which the Blue Bishops took an 18-0 lead. Charles Sanders opened the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Sanders rushed for 93 yards on seven carries on the night. Barksdale completed six of 13 passes for 81 yards.
Daquane Bland-Bennett raced 51 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. TyQuis Davis capped the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Davis rushed for 78 yards on six carries. Bland-Bennett ran for 68 yards on four carries.
The Blue Bishops shredded the Titans for 331 yards on 28 carries. Davis caught two passes for 37 yards. Teammate Jaedon Stephens hauled in two passes for 23 yards. Teammate William Wells, a senior middle linebacker, made 12 tackles–all solos. Davis notched two sacks for eight yards lost.
MATAWAN 42, NEW BRUNSWICK 7: Led by Devon Spann’s two touchdowns, the visiting Huskies (5-3) thumped the Zebras (0-8) in non-conference action.
Spann scored on runs of six and 1 yard. Teammate Calvin Beatty scored on a 5-yard run. Nick Tomkins added a 45-yard return of an interception for a touchdown. Teammate Justin Lester scored on an 83-yard run and Matawan’s Jimmy Pierce hit the end zone from one yard. Mike Creamer kicked six extra points.
New Brunswick has lost 10 straight games dating back to last season.