All About the Benjamin: Manchester Upsets Central
By Chris Melvin - Shore Sports Network Contributor
MANCHESTER - Seniors Shaquille Benjamin and Devin Tomei helped Manchester make its bid for a state playoff spot and deny Central its first division title since 1994 with an 18-13 upset victory on Friday night.
Manchester junior linebacker Kwaku Owusu opened the scoring for both teams as he blocked a second-quarter punt, scooped it up and raced 35 yards for a score. Benjamin, a running back/defensive back, was outstanding on both sides of the ball as he broke up six passes on defense, returned three kickoffs for more than 140 total yards, and had a pair of rushing touchdowns of six and 11 yards. After starting 0-5, the Hawks (3-5, 3-3) are in position to get into the playoffs in the South Jersey Group III bracket thanks to the win.
Tomei shined for the Hawks at quarterback, connecting with Kashaun Barnes and other receives to move the chains while also playing a strong game at outside linebacker.
Central (5-3, 5-2) got on the scoreboard in the second quarter by way of a 31-yard touchdown score by senior Javon Brown and then cut it to five points with nine minutes left in the game on a 14-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Marquis Drumright to junior Mike Yager, but the Hawks were able to close out the win.