Raritan picked up its first season-opening win since 2011 in wild fashion against old rival Manasquan, building a 27-point lead, then recovering after the Warriors rallied to tie the game in order to pick up a victory in Class A Central.
The Rockets (1-0, 1-0) built a 27-0 lead before Manasquan (0-1, 0-1) roared back to tie it at 27, and then Raritan ultimately sealed the win on a 25-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Riley Sullivan with 2:15 left in the game.
Senior running back Rich Salerno had a huge game for the Rockets, rushing for 181 of his career-high 193 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in the first half alone before leaving the game with a knee injury in the third quarter and not returning. Junior Derek Ernst had a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown and also ran for a 4-yard touchdown that made it 34-27 with 6:38 left in the game.
Sullivan also threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior Colby Jones in the win, as the Rockets rolled up 288 yards on the ground and 425 total yards.
Here is Sullivan speaking about the big win:
Senior running backs James McAlary and John Morris each ran for a pair of touchdowns in the loss for Manasquan, and Morris also had an interception on defense. Quarterback Liam Grieb connected with Max Hawkins for a 55-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 27 in the third quarter before Jones blocked the extra point to keep it tied. A baseball player who decided to come out for the team as a senior, Hawkins had five catches for 120 yards and a touchdown in his first game.
McAlary scored on a 6-yard run with 59 seconds remaining to make it a one-score game, but Raritan recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Raritan 41, Manasquan 34
. R M
First Downs: 17 11
Rushes/Yards 36-288 23-92
Passing/Yards 11/23-137 11/21-155
Penatlies 7-60 2-20
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Raritan (1-0, 1-0) – 21 6 0 14 – 41
Manasquan (0-1, 0-1) – 0 0 21 13 – 34
R: Ernst fumble recovery (Dewysockie kick)
R: Jones 12-yard pass from Sullivan (Dewysockie kick)
R: Salerno 8-yard run (Dewysockie kick)
R: Salerno 1-yard run (kick failed)
M: McAlary 19-yard run (run failed)
M: Morris 1-yard run (Cowley pass from Grieb)
M: Morris 1-yard run (Sabins kick)
M: Hawkins 55-yard pass from Grieb (kick failed)
R: Ernst 4-yard run (Dewysockie kick)
R: Sullivan 25-yard run (Dewysockie kick)
M: McAlary 6-yard run (Sabins kick)
Rushing – R: Salerno 20-193, Sullivan 5-49, Ernst 9-46, Jones 2-0 M: Macalary 10-48, Morris 7-20, Gleason 5-16, Hawkins 1-8
Passing: R: Sullivan 11/23-137-1 M: Grieb 11/21-155-1
Receiving – R: Dewysockie 4-97, J.Jones 5-31, Pasquin 1-6, C.Jones 1-3 M: Hawkins 5-120, Cowley 2-17, Paturzzo 1-12, Carrithers 1-5, Morris 1-3, Macalary 1-2