MANALAPAN - The last time the Howell boys soccer team failed to win a game, it played to a 1-1 draw with Manalapan in the third game of the season - which marked the third straight game to open the year that the Rebels failed to win.

Since that tie and the 0-2-1 start, Howell had one five straight heading into a rematch against the Braves on Monday. This time, there would be no settling - just another win for the red-hot Rebels.

PHOTO GALLERY: Howell at Manalapan by Paula Lopez

Howell senior Adam Jiries (12) scored the second of two Howell goals Monday. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Junior Robert Saunders scored in the 10th minute and senior Adam Jiries added a goal in the 47th as Howell (6-2-1, 6-2-1) - No. 7 in the latest Shore Sports Network Top 10 -  jumped out to a two-goal lead and held on to beat Manalapan (2-4-3, 2-3-3) for their sixth straight win since failing to win its first three.

Both Howell goals came off of turnovers in the Manalapan defensive third and Jiries's score put the Rebels ahead, 2-0, early in the second half.

Adam Goldberg volleyed home a corner kick by Quentin Pickering in the 55th minute to cut the Howell lead to 2-1.

With only four games remaining before the Oct. 12 cutoff for the Shore Conference Tournament, Howell has officially clinched an SCT berth for the first time since 2011. From 2006 to 2011, the Rebels were a top-five seed in the tournament in five of the six years, reached the semifinals in four of the six years and won the tournament in 2007.

 

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