TOMS RIVER – Toms River North’s dual-threat junior quarterback Mike Husni displayed all of his talent on Friday night.
He constantly picked up yards with his feet.
He found the exposable areas in Kingsway defense with his arm.
He was the critical component of Toms River North’s offense that Kingsway couldn’t stop.
Husni marched the Mariners to a convincing 35-7 victory over No. 5 seed Kingsway in an NJSIAA South Group V first round playoff game.
“Our offense has a lot of weapons. We are dynamic anywhere on the field, we’ll hurt you anywhere on the field. But really, we are just trying to take what the defense gives us,” Husni said. “That means if we have to run the ball more, we’ll run the ball. If we have to air the ball out, we’ll do that too. We want to do what’s best for the team.”
And that was keeping the ball in Husni’s hands as much as possible. The junior quarterback finished with 76 yards on 15 carries and scored three rushing touchdowns and he also went 13-for-17 for 210 yards and one touchdown.
“We’ve come to expect that over the years with Mike Husni. I kind of don’t even notice because he does it week in and week out,” Toms River North football coach Dave Oizerowitz said. “He’s a special player and has been a special player from the moment he walked on our campus. He’s got a magnetic personality and the kids believe in him.”
And he gets the ball to the right player on the field as well. On Husni’s touchdown pass, the Mariners were facing a third and seven from their own 40-yard line when he found Kenney Cook over the middle for a 60-yard score. That score put the Mariners up 28-7 with 10:34 left in the game.
The Mariners (9-1) then forced Kingsway (4-5) to put on its next drive and Husni finished off his four-touchdown day with one of his most impressive runs of the season. On first and 10 from the Mariners 48-yard line, Husni took the snap and immediately busted through the line and outran several Kingsway defenders for a 52-yard touchdown which pushed the lead to 35-7 with 5:33 left.
KEY PLAY: Kingsway scored with 8:02 left in the third quarter on Shaune Oates’ 88-yard punt return, however, Toms River North had the perfect answer. Husni finished off an eight-play, 60-yard drive with a 1-yd quarterback keeper for a score and a 21-7 lead with 4:52 left in the third quarter.
OFFENSIVE GAME BALL: Husni rushed for 76 yards on 15 carries and scored three times, threw for 210 yards on 3-for-17 passing and had a touchdown pass.
DEFENSIVE GAME BALL: Senior defensive lineman Dashon Copes had two sacks and sophomore Mickey Moldonado had one interception.
UP NEXT: Toms River North (NJSIAA playoffs next week vs Rancocas Valley/Lenape winner on Nov. 20-21), Kingsway vs Clearview on Nov. 26
Toms River North 35, Kingsway 7
Kingsway (4-5) 0-0-7-0 = 7
TR North (9-1) 14-0-7-14=35
TRN – Husni 14 run (Bayha kick)
TRN – Blackwell 4 run (Bayha kick)
K – Oates 88 punt return (Sandy kick)
TRN – Husni 1 run (Bayha kick)
TRN – Cook 60 pass from Husni (Bayha kick)
TRN – Husni 52 run (Bayha kick)
First Downs= 4
Rushes-yards = 23-37
Passing yards = 29
Toms River North
First downs =18
Rushes-yards = 37-228
Passing yards= 210
Punts = 4-29.0
Fumbles-Lost = 0-0
Penalties-Yards = 11-60
RUSHING— K: Scerbo 3-4, Orio 7-(-10), Seas 10-30, Samuels 3-13; T: Husni 15-76, Blackwell 5-11, Moorer 16-110, Watts 1-31.
PASSING— K: Orio 4-11-1-29; T: Husni 13-17-0-210
RECEIVING— K: Scerbo 2-14, Seas 1-(-3), Samuels 1-18; T: Watts 3-27, Carrington 6-78, Moorer 2-17, Cook 2-88.
INTERCEPTIONS— T: Moldonado