MANASQUAN – The takeaway for opponents when Matawan senior kicker Adam Elliott has a chance to make a game-winning field goal is icing him doesn’t work.
Elliott lifted the Huskies to a 30-27 victory over Manasquan Saturday, hitting a 25-yard field goal with 8.7 seconds left to play in the Shore Conference Class A Central game. It was the fifth straight victory for Matawan (5-3, 3-3).
Elliott did the same thing in last season’s playoffs against Ocean, winning the game on a kick with five seconds left.
In both games, Elliott missed what proved to be warmup kicks. Ocean tried icing him with a timeout. This time Elliott’s first approach went wide but was nullified by a motion penalty on Matawan.
“I seem to like missing when they ice me but I’m OK making the next one,’’ Elliott said.
Elliott’s kick against the host Warriors (3-4, 2-3) served as redemption for missing an extra point following Shawn Ramcheran’s touchdown on a 38-yard pass from George Pearson.
That gave Matawan a precarious 27-21 lead with 6:26 remaining in the back-and-forth game but the missed PAT wasn’t costly, because Ramcheran blocked Manasquan’s extra-point kick two minutes later. Manasquan tied the score at 27-27 on Liam Grieb’s 49-yard pass to Kyle LeBlanc but Shane Flanagan’s kick was stuffed by Ramcheran.
Matawan had the final say and the drive that led to Elliott’s field goal started at the Huskies’ 21 with 3:51 left, with Makiya Caesar running the ball eight straight times and accounting for most of the yardage.
“The missed extra point challenged Elliott and our team, and we stepped up, blocked theirs, and then we made our field goal,’’ Matawan coach John Kaye said. “That’s character.’’
Caesar finished with 182 yards, topped only by Parker Day’s 227 yards for Manasquan. Day ran for touchdowns of 76 and 48 yards.
Pearson had three touchdown passes for the Huskies and completed 10 of 16 passes for 243 yards but was intercepted by Flanagan and Damaso Jaime. Grieb completed 4 of 9 passes for 69 yards. He also threw a pair of interceptions.
Key play: Adam Elliott showed poise under pressure, hitting a game-winning 25-yard field goal with 8.7 seconds left.
Offensive game ball: Matawan quarterback George Pearson threw for 243 yards, getting big chunks of that figure on occasions when he was chased out of the pocket but threw across the field to secondary receivers.
Defensive game ball: Shawn Ramcheran of Matawan kept the game tied at 27-27 when he blocked Shane Flanagan’s extra-point kick with 6:26 left to play.
Up next: Matawan visits Barnegat and Manasquan goes to St. John Vianney Friday.