COLONIA For the third game in a row, the Colonia High School football team started slowly, and no one exemplified that disturbing trend more than Bashir Lauderdale.
The unbeaten Patriots were clinging to a seven-point lead at halftime as the senior back, who entered the contest averaging more than seven yards per carry, was limited to 35 hard-fought yards on 14 rushes.
Lauderdale started rolling in the second half and so did Colonia, as he ran 21 more times for 129 more yards to power the Patriots to a 26-15 effort over a stubborn Perth Amboy squad.
Lauderdale is celebrating his birthday on Saturday and he had plenty to celebrate after gashing the Panthers for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
“We needed to pick up our pace, so, being a leader, I had to do what I to do to get us where we needed to be,” Lauderdale said. “I just became more patient and the linemen pulled through for me.”
Colonia, which shot itself in the foot by committing three first-half turnovers and 12 penalties for 112 yards overall, finally broke through for a touchdown on a 2-yard burst off right tackle by Lauderdale with just 1:08 to play in the first half. But the Patriots’ defense kept the damage to a minimum as Perth Amboy didn’t manage a first down until that, in the final minute of the half.
Perth Amboy played valiantly and tied the score at 7-7 on a 3-yard run up the middle by Deonte Freeman with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
That score seemed to light a fire in Colonia, which rallied from a two-touchdown in its season-opening win over Bishop Ahr and actually had to come from behind in last week’s 39-18 triumph over J.F. Kennedy.
“We’re a young team and we’re making mistakes. At some point during the year it’s going to hurt us down the line,” Colonia coach Tom Roarty said.
The Patriots needed just four plays after that tying score to travel 64 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, a 24-yard pass from Chase Barneys to his brother, Bryce, with Lauderdale carrying on the first three plays of the series for a total of 40 yards.
Colonia scored again just 52 seconds later when Joshua Joseph picked off a screen pass and returned it 27 yards for a 19-7 cushion with 2:23 left in the quarter.
Colonia’s final touchdown came on its next possession, an 81-yard, 14-play march in which Lauderdale carried nine times for 56 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown run with 7:43 remaining.
Perth Amboy wasn’t done battling as Tahjmere Oneal scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak, then tossed a pass to Freeman for the two-point conversion with 3:16 to play.
But Lauderdale went back to work, lugging the ball five more times as the Panthers never regained possession.
PERTH AMBOY(0-2) 0-0-7-8-15
COLONIA (3-0) 0-7-12-7-26
C – Lauderdale 2 run (Ribeiro kick)
PA – Freeman 3 run (Aguilar kickse
C – B. Barneys 24 pass from C. Barneys (kick failed)
C – Joseph 27 interception return (kick blocked)
C – Lauderdale 4 run (Ribeiro kick)
PA – Oneal 1 run (Freeman pass from Oneal)
Rushing – PA: Freeman 8-27, Gunthrie 5-25, McMillan 6-22, Nazario 3-19, Hannah 4-9, Saucedo 1-4, Oneal 5-minus 8; C: Lauderdale 35-164, C. Barneys 10-35, Pero 1-0, B. Barneys 1-minus 6.
Passing – PA: Oneal 8-14-2-75; C: C. Barneys 11-17-2-146.
Receiving – PA: Hannah 1-28, Nazario 2-17, Fullwood 2-13, Stevens 2-11, Gunthrie 1-6; C: B. Barneys 4-78, Santos 5-43, Benedicks 2-25.