BERKELEY TWP. What a way to reach 5-0.
Down 21-7, Point Pleasant Boro gave up more points to Central Regional junior Mike Bickford in one half than the Panthers gave up in their first four games.
What a second half turnaround. The defense threw a second half shutout and the offensive linemen threw their collective weight around, wearing down the Central defense and propelling the Panthers to a come-from-behind 26-21 Class B South victory.
“We made a couple of adjustments at the half and the kids did a great job up front for us,’’ said Boro coach Sean Henry in front of a group of emotionally charged unbeaten football players.
The Point Boro offense outscored Central (3-3) 19-0 in the second half, scoring touchdowns the first three times it had the ball. The Panther defense held the Golden Eagle offense to a total of 30 second half yards.
Despite the fact that the skies opened up on another football Friday night … the only turnover of the game provided Point Boro with its first lead.
Kyler Rossi came up with the interception at the Central Regional 20 yard line. After brother Nate bolted 19 yards to the one yard line, Noah Husak crossed the goal line on a quarterback sneak.
In just over one quarter the Boro turned a 21-7 deficit into a 26-21 lead. The senior Husak brothers each scored two touchdowns with Nate pounding up the middle for 170 yards on 26 carries and Noah scampering for 93 yards on 23 carries.
Both teams scored touchdowns on 69 yards drives the first time they had the football. Central went first. Bickford (21-122) capped a six play drive by racing 46 yards around the right side on a fourth down play.
The Panthers answered with a 14 play drive that took over seven minutes off the clock. Noah Husak ran it in from one yard out, but the critical play came on a third down and 23 when Central was penalized 15 yards, allowing the Boro a much more manageable third down and eight situation.
Noah Husak took advantage, gaining exactly the necessary eight yards on third down.
Nate Husak ran six times for 48 yards on the drive.
After an exchange of punts, Central drove 68 yards on just four plays to go in front, 14-7. Key play was a 48 yard long ball from quarterback Mike Miserandino to Malcolm Vaughn. Bickford juked and outraced Boro defenders on a 24 yard, six point run two plays later.
Just before the half, Central drove 70 yards in just over a minute. Bickford caught a 27 yard pass, but the key play was a nifty one handed 27 yard catch by Dennis Corbin.
The third quarter was all Point Boro. The Panthers closed to 21-14 less than two minutes in. Nate Husak sprinted 29 yards up the middle, untouched, for the score.
“That’s a great series,’’ the sideline exclaimed. “That’s how you come back.’’
The defense held Central to a three and out. Then the Boro enforced its will on this game. In another 14 play, seven minute drive, the Panthers looked unstoppable. Noah Husak ran for six on a fourth down play, then reached the endzone from four yards out to pull the Panthers to within 21-20 after the point after failed.
Central needed some offense. … instead Rossi’s interception set up the Panther offense on the Central 20 yard line. Central tried to respond, putting together a 12 play drive. But the Boro held fast at its 44 yard line.
KEY PLAY: Rossi’s interception kept the Eagles from regaining the momentum and set up the Panthers to take the lead.
OFFENSIVE GAME BALL: Lets give it to the offensive line, which consistently knocked the Eagle defense off the line to allow the Husak brothers room to roam.
DEFENSIVE GAME BALL: How about the coaching staff’s second half adjustments, holding Central to 30 second half yards.
NEXT UP: Point Boro travels to Barnegat. Central will take on Manchester.