Big Night for Derek Ernst Leads Raritan Rally to Beat Red Bank
Raritan picked up a crucial 35-27 comeback win over host Red Bank in a nondivisional game on Friday night to stay right in the hunt for a playoff berth thanks to junior tailback Derek Ernst, who rolled up a career-high 215 yards and three touchdowns.
Here is the game, summed up in 10 key plays:
Red Bank took an early 7-0 lead when junior quarterback Jack Navitsky hit junior wideout Sadiq Palmer for a 46-yard touchdown in the first quarter to kick off a big night for Navitsky and Palmer in defeat.
Derek Ernst then got his big night rolling with a great 53-yard touchdown run to tie it at 7.
After Navitsky ran for an 11-yard score to give Red Bank the lead back, he pushed the margin to 20-7 with this 64-yard burst in the second quarter.
Raritan chipped into the lead with this 3-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Rodriguez to Mason Sheehan only seconds before halftime to cut it to 20-14.
Red Bank came out in the third quarter and again pushed the lead to two scores when Navitsky hit Palmer for his second touchdown, a 33-yarder, for a 27-14 lead.
Raritan answered when Ernst went into Hulk mode and carried the Bucs' entire defense seven yards for a touchdown that cut it to 27-21 with 1:18 left in the third quarter.
Raritan head coach Anthony Petruzzi then dials up a game-changing play, as Raritan recovers an onside kick following Ernst's touchdown for a big momentum swing.
Ernst then caps the ensuing drive with his third touchdown of the night, cutting it back to find paydirt to give Raritan its first lead of the game, 28-27, to start the fourth quarter.
After the Rockets' defense comes up with a turnover, they make it 35-27 when Rodriguez hits senior wideout Dylan DeWysockie for a touchdown with 7:17 left in the game.
Red Bank has one final chance to tie it in the waning seconds of the game as it drives to Raritan's 9-yard line, but Rockets' senior Colby Jones seals the win with an interception in the end zone.