OCEAN TOWNSHIP — The playoffs are still a few weeks away, but Friday night at Carelli Field, sixth-seeded Ocean Township showed it has the grit to come through in a high-stakes game.
Senior wide receiver CJ Flannigan scored on a 6-yard touchdown run in overtime for the game-winning score that lifted the Spartans, ranked No. 6 in the Jeep Store Shore Sports Network Football Top 10, to a dramatic 34- 28 over Middletown North.
Middletown North took a 28-21 lead in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by James Barnao and the extra point by Ian Poole-Morgan, but Ocean answered on a 1-yard touchdown run by Caleb Thompson and the extra point by Michael Sorrentino tied the score at 28 with 7:02 left in regulation. Middletown North then drove to the Ocean 10-yard line and attempted a 27-yard field goal as time expired, but Ocean brought pressure and the kick missed its mark wide left.
Middletown North had the ball first in overtime but couldn’t come away with any points when Ocean senior defensive lineman Shane Garrett intercepted a screen pass that was deflected on third down. On Ocean’s overtime possession, senior running back Tyler Douglas had an 18-yard run and then a 6-yard run to set up Flannigan’s game-winning score.
Douglas threw for 140 yards and a touchdown and ran for 67 yards, senior running back Caleb Thompson ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Mateo Andrews caught three passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown pass from Douglas to Andrews covered 86 yards and came once after an electric run was called back by Douglas. Junior quarterback Nick Iacouzzi also ran for a touchdown for Ocean.
Junior running back Neno Morgan-Acker ran for a game-high 179 yards and a touchdown for Middletown North, which ran the ball at will against Ocean’s defense for much of the night. Junior running back James Barnao added 53 yards rushing and a touchdown and senior wide receiver Derek Soto caught four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown.
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