OAKHURST – Tyler Thompson’s scholastic career concluded with one final offensive explosion on Thanksgiving.
In a rivalry meeting with Monmouth, Thompson carried 33 times for 195 yards and three touchdowns, to go with a 63-yard touchdown reception, in a 34-7 victory over the Falcons.
“The first half of that game we came out a little soft,” Thompson said of his club’s effort against Monmouth. “Then during the half, we realized it was the last game of the year and turned it on. There was no way we were going to allow ourselves to lose.”
However, despite his big day, Thompson is admittedly left with a sour taste in his mouth after divisional foe Red Bank Regional defeated the Spartans 21-14 in the Central, Group III semifinals on Nov. 20.
“The season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, because of that loss to RBR,” Thompson said. “But they’re a great team. They’ve been playing together for a while just like we have. They just got the better of us that day.”
Though the sting of a playoff defeat may still linger, what will ultimately outlast that pain is the decorated career and a proud legacy that this senior leaves behind, including a 2015 season in which Thompson carried 235 times for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns … all of which were career bests.
In total, Thompson amassed 4,866 rushing yards on 806 rushing attempts – an average of 6.1 yards per carry – and 52 touchdowns, as well as 45 career receptions for 553 yards and three more touchdowns; all of that despite missing a portion of 2014 with a broken leg, and using the start of 2015 to get back to full-strength.
And that merely accounts for his play on the offensive side of the ball, as the senior recorded 68 total tackles, one interception, and a forced fumble in 2015
With Thompson leading the way, Ocean notched victories over such conference powers as Middletown North (17-14) on Oct. 9 and Red Bank Catholic (42-35) on Oct. 30, while falling twice to Red Bank on Sept. 25 (16-6) and most recently in the playoffs (21-14), the Spartans only two losses of the year.
“This season, out of all four years, it was definitely the toughest,” Thompson said. “We played a lot of good competition this year, and every game they were keying on me. Thankfully there were a lot of talented guys around me that helped us get some big wins.”
As far as his aforementioned legacy goes, and what he hopes to leave behind, Thompson kept it simple.
“I just want everyone who comes to Ocean Township to know who Tyler Thompson is, and remember what we did here,” the senior said. “And I know the group coming up behind me, with the great coaches we have here, they’ll without a doubt continue to have success.”