The Panthers knew it was not going to be easy. However, they had just enough in the tank to come away with a 33-27 victory over the Raritan Rockets Friday night.
The Panthers took the lead early in the first Quarter. After a Kyler Rossi Interception, Pt Boro would march 51 yards down the field. This drive was capped off by a Noah Husak 11 yard TD run. As with many of the Pt Boro drives this season, the Husak brothers have gotten the job done. This time it was Noah who was able to get the Panthers on the board to open the game.
Noah Husak 11 yard TD Run
Raritan would need to perform at a high level to contain the Panther’s offense. They also knew that RB Derek Ernst would have to be a key factor. In fact, he was able to rush for over 100 yards in this game setting up a big 15 yard TD pass from Carnivale to Jordan Smith. This would tie the game at 7 a piece with a few minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Rockets would not slow down from there as Ernst was able to find the end zone on a 10 yard rushing TD. This is when the Panthers would step up on defense over next couple of drives. Pt Boro would continue the momentum by getting their offense going.
After the Rockets took the lead to go up by 7, it was Devin Connelly who would return the ensuing kickoff 30 yards to set up the short field once again. From one talented RB to the next, it was Gene Franceschini who would take the Noah Husak hand off 49 yards to the house. This would even the score at 14. Suddenly, a game that was predicted to be a defensive battle; ended up being a scoring affair!
The Rockets would be able to get back in the game before halftime. Pt Boro would fumble the kickoff, as it was recovered by Vito Aleo of Raritan. The Rockets would soon enough take back the lead as Ernst was able to punch it in from 8 years out to give the Rockets a 20-14 lead early in the second quarter.
Derek Ernst TD
Jordan Smith TD
Noah Husak would then begin to complete some nice passes to his wide receivers. The Panthers would have a promising drive stopped by the Rockets at the 1 yard line. However, it was the Panther defense that would be able to turn a turnover on downs into a points. A tackle of Ernst in the end zone gave Pt.Boro two points as a safety was called. This would make the score 20-16 in favor of the Rockets with 3:37 left in the second quarter.
A common theme for the Rockets would be the amount of penalties that they were able to accumulate. After a 15 yard personal foul penalty, and a 30 year return, it was Noah Husak that once again found the end zone for the Panthers. They were now back in the lead as Husak took it himself for 14 yards. This would make the score 23-20 in favor of Pt.Boro going into the half.
In the second half, it was Hayden Fry who would come down with a 26 yard TD pass from Noah Husak. The Panthers would eventually get out to a 33-20 lead. This would come Via a Colin Ansbach 33 yard Field goal. The Panthers would not score the rest of the game although a Mason Sheehan Catch and fumble recovery was the best opportunity the rest of the way.
Hear from Hayden here :
With 3:00 left in the fourth quarter, the game began to get very interesting. A 23 yard Mason Sheehan catch would cut the lead to just 33-27. The panthers would not be able to do anything with their next possession in which they would resort to punting the ball. This would give Raritan the ball back with a little over a minute remaining in the game.
Austin Drucquer 4th Down INT
The Panthers would eventually win the game 33-27. However, the story to this amazing season could not have continued to be fulfilled if it were not for Austin Drucquer. The DB was able to intercept a pass on 4th and 6 off the hands of Carnivale. This preserved a hard fought victory for the Panthers. Furthermore, the Panthers are still undefeated and have improved to 7-0 on the season.
You can hear from Austin on his big play here:
Coaching staff addresses Pt.Boro Players