MANASQUAN — The Manasquan football team made some uncharacteristic mistakes that cost them in its Central Jersey Group II semifinal against Point Pleasant Borough on Friday in an eventual 27-6 loss to the Panthers.
The loss ends the Warriors hopes of winning back-to-back sectional titles for the first time since 2005-2006.
Manasquan, which now has a record of 6-4, will end its season on Thursday when it travels to Wall to face the Crimson Knights in the traditional Thanksgiving game at 11 a.m.
The Warriors looked good against the Panthers early on Friday moving the ball on offense, while stopping Point Pleasant on it[B1] s first drive. However, a rash of turnovers and a key injury seemed to swing all the momentum to the Panthers, whose offense went into high gear following an opening drive punt.
The Warriors turned the ball over five times during the game, all in Point Pleasant Borough territory, including a fumble into the end zone when it looked like Manasquan was set to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Warriors were also hurt by the loss of key two-way player Sean Anderson, who was forced to leave the game with a leg injury in the first quarter. The senior lineman had been one of the Warriors top defensive players this season. The fumble recovery seemed to spark the Panthers who scored on every possession, but one following the fumble.
Manasquan rushed for over 200 yards in the game and had 17 first downs, but could only score one touchdown on a Canyon Birch run late in the game when Point Pleasant Borough had things well in control.
For more on this story, read next week's edition of The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.