The 0 Must Go: Lakewood Hands No. 5 Barnegat its First Loss
By Art Gordon - Shore Sports Network contributor
LAKEWOOD — As the jubilant Lakewood players and coaches celebrated in the end zone after their hard-fought 21-14 Shore Conference Class B South victory over previously unbeaten and fifth-ranked Barnegat, they chanted "All we got is all we need!" Winning head coach L. J. Clark explained that “we are one family, protecting each other’s back and believing in each other.”
“The people over there (pointing to his team and staff) were the only ones that gave us a shot,” Clark said. “We came in confident and ready. There was not a doubt in our minds we couldn’t win.”
Lakewood (5-2, 4-2) came into the game after suffering a 34-28 overtime loss to Central Regional last week, and knew that a win would likely get them into the state playoffs in Central Jersey Group II.
“Last week we sat some kids out for discipline reasons so we let that game go,” Clark said. “We knew we had to bounce back today.”
Lakewood’s confidence could have been shattered after going three-and-out on its first possession and then Barnegat (6-1, 5-1) hitting a wide receiver screen pass to Manny Bowen from Cinjun Erskine for a 61-yard touchdown. Less than two minutes into the game, Lakewood trailed 7-0.
The Piners moved the ball on their second possession but the drive stalled. However, they were able to pin the Bengals deep inside their 20. Barnegat went three-and-out, and when the punt went just 13 yards the Piners were set up at the 32-yard line. Senior all-purpose back Chapelle Cook took a second-and-13 snap as a quarterback and bounced off a tackle to bring the ball to the 14-yard line. Four plays later, sophomore running back Amir Tyler tied the score 7-7 on a 1-yard run from the quarterback slot.
Many of the Piners took snaps at quarterback with Cook playing running back and wide receiver at other times.
“We came out fired up and coach put me at quarterback because he wanted to pound them with power, and I can also throw the ball to get it to our playmakers,” Cook said.
The second quarter was a defensive battle with both teams playing between the 40-yard lines. As the clock wound down in the first half it seemed that both teams were going to be satisfied going into intermission tied until Lakewood decided to take a shot and attempted a fade pattern to wide receiver David Patterson. The ball was just a little overthrown, but this did not stop the Piners. They tried a “quick and go” on the next play and senior wide receiver Mike Randolph got behind the Barnegat secondary and caught the ball at the 20-yard line. He made one defender miss and took it the remaining 20 yards to complete a 60-yard touchdown pass from Cook with 35 seconds left until halftime.
“We are going to do what we do and that is to run the ball at you and play good defense,” Clark said. “If we don’t do those two things, we don’t deserve to win.”
Play good defense they did. On Barnegat’s first possession of the second half and under heavy pressure, the Bengals tried to complete a middle screen. But junior Datrell Reed smelled it out and intercepted the ball at the 40-yard line. He raced to the end zone only to fumble at the 20-yard line where FeJon Sutton picked up the bouncing ball at the 15-yard line and raced into the end zone to extend the lead to 21-7 just two minutes into the second half.
After both teams had a couple of three and outs, the Bengals pinned the Piners deep at their 20-yard line. On a second-and-19 at the 11-yard line, Barnegat’s Bowen made a fingertip interception at the 17-yard line.
The Bengals moved the ball and barely converted a fourth-and-inches, giving them a first-and-goal at the 7-yard line, but the Piners held and took over on downs with less than a minute to play in the third quarter.
The Bengal defense held again to force a short punt and took over at the 38-yard line. The Barnegat defense was outstanding all day in holding Lakewood without a first down in the second half until 5:47 remained in the game.
After an incompletion and a defensive pass interference, Erskine found Bowen again for a 23-yard touchdown. After Ryan Ulrich's second extra point it was a one-score game again with ten minutes to play.
Barnegat would have two more possessions but could not tie the game. When Lakewood’s Markee Paseler intercepted Erskine with 2:35 to play, the celebration started.
“It was a great job by my assistant coaches putting the game plan together, especially the defensive staff,” Clark said. “We have scored seven defensive touchdowns this year. The kids deserve the credit. It’s 'We.' We are family.”
TEAMS 1 2 3 4 FINAL
BARNEGAT 7 0 0 7 14
LAKEWOOD 7 7 7 0 21
BAR: MANNY BOWEN 61 YARD PASS FROM CINJUN ERKSKINE. RYAN ULRICK KICK
LAKE: AMIR TYLER 1 YARD RUN. ERIC SEGUI KICK
LAKE: MIKE RANDOLPH 60 YARD PASS FROM CHAPELLE COOK. SEGUI KICK
LAKE: FEJON SUTTON 25 YARD FUMBLE RETURN. SEGUI KICK
BAR: MANNY BOWEN 23 YARD PASS FROM CINJUN ERKSKINE. ULRICH KICK
FIRST DOWNS 8 6
RUSHING 13-20 35-78
PASSING 12-30-2, 164 8-11-1, 101
PENALTIES 11-88 9-70
PUNTS 7-30 7-29
FUMBLES 2-0 2-0
RUSHING: BAR: CINJUN ERKSKINE 4-(12), TYLER MCGUINESS 3-5, MANNY BOWEN 5-33, KENNY BASS 1-(6). LAKE: CHAPELLE COOK 17-65, MIKE RANDOLPH 1-2, NAQUESE JOSHUA 5-7, AMIR TYLER 8-1, DEVIN DELANIE 1-2, DAVID PATTERSON 1-(5), JOEY KERAITIS 1-7, ERIC SEGUI 1-(1)
PASSING: BAR: CINJUN ERKSKINE 12-29-2 164, RICKY GERENA 0-1-0. LAKE: NAQUESE JOSHUA 6-8-1-36, CHAPELLE COOK 2-3 -65
RECEIVING: BAR: MANNY BOWEN 5-115, DAVID OROZCO 1-10, RYAN ULRICH 1-3. KYLE MORRIS 2-23, KEVIN HOFFMAN 2-14, RICKY GERENA 1-5,
LAKE: DESEN BUTLER 1-10, DAVID PATTERSON 2-4, MIKE RANDOLPH 2-66, FEJON SUTTON 1-1, CHAPELLE COOK 1-1, ERIC SEGUI 1-16
INTERCEPTIONS: BAR: MANNY BOWEN. LAKE: DATREL REED, MARKEE PASELER