Keyport Takes Down Manchester in Offensive Thriller
KEYPORT -- It's been a strong start within the Patriot Division throughout 2023, leading to an instant classic between undefeated Manchester and Keyport.
Since the start of the season, Manchester outscored their opponents by a monumental 167-50. Keyport knew that their hands would be full and that the team with the least amount of mistakes at the end would come away on top.
Out of the gate, Manchester's Josh Love took charge and ran for a 57-yard touchdown score on the first offensive possession.
After a slow start on the first drive by Keyport, the Raiders defense settled in, allowing senior Nazir Treadwell to do what he does best; run heavy.
Keyport made their way down the field, which ultimately ended in a 4-yard touchdown run by Sophomore Mekai Henderson.
Shortly after, the Hawks drove down the field and finished off a drive that spanned 5:40 with a 4-yard touchdown run by Love.
Keyport looked to respond, providing all eyes with another long drive and multiple fourth downs converted. On fourth and long, Treadwell turned a loss of yards into a dazzling scramble of 33 to set Keyport up at first and goal. Treadwell galloped into the endzone to tie the game at 14 with 13 seconds left in the half.
"We didn't let the noise bother us, we didn't let the moment of the game become too big," Keyport coach Jason Glezman said. "We knew that we were facing a talented team and we knew that if we played our game. we would handle our business."
The Raiders received the ball to begin the second half, which continued to produce two things: long drives and a lot of offense.
On third down to start the second half, Treadwell was sacked for a loss of eight yards, which was negated by a facemask penalty. Keyport made Manchester pay for the penalty, as Treadwell once again brought the Red Raiders into the endzone. A six-minute drive was capped off by Henderson, who jolted into the endzone for his second score of the game.
"One game at a time," Treadwell said. "Be the best version of ourselves each time out there and we know good things will happen."
Manchester did not go down easily, as Love broke multiple tackles and defenders to find the endzone for a 36-yard score. The extra point hit the bottom of the cross-bar, which proved to be a point that was needed in the long run.
Keyport did not let up on the gas. Henderson continued to run strong, tallying 22 carries for 184 rushing yards.
Treadwell continued to excel on offense, leading Keyport downfield once again for another score. This time, he took it in himself for his second score of the day, a 10-yard run.
Being up 8, Keyport knew that defense was an ultimate game-changer. Manchester's Aidan Lunn was dialed in at quarterback, making big pass plays and runs when needed. Lunn found the endzone for an 11-yard rushing touchdown. On the two-point conversion to tie the game, Henderson came up large with a massive tackle on Lunn to hold Keyport's lead intact.
With the ball back in their hands, Keyport was stopped on three consecutive downs. With 4th and 5 upcoming, Glezman decided to bring the offense back out on the field and try to draw Manchester offsides.
The plan was a success, gaining the first down via penalty. Treadwell once again made Manchester pay with his feet, breaking tackles and dancing into the endzone for a 40-yard touchdown.
Manchester received the ball and found Josh Love for his fourth touchdown of the game, a 65-yard pass from Lunn. With only one timeout remaining and less than two minutes on the clock, the only way to get the ball back was an onside kick. Manchester was called for illegal touching after picking it up two yards shy of the needed yardage. Keyport was able to run the clock out without any further scare, leading to a 35-33 victory.
"This is a progression of three years. This is a senior group that was sophomores when they lost to Monmouth for the division. Last year, they had a big game against Shore for a share of the division. We talked about learning from the previous years. This is an experienced group and all credit to them," Coach Glezman said.
With the win over Manchester (4-1, 2-1,), Keyport (3-1, 2-0) now takes over sole possession of first place within the Patriot division with two more games within their division taking place.
The energy at Keyport is incredibly high. This roster feels that the world is ahead of them. With the Raiders in the driver's seat in the division and half a season left to be played, Keyport knows they're not going anywhere anytime soon.
Manchester Township (4-1, 2-1)
Keyport (4-1, 3-0)
Manchester- Love, Josh 57-yd run (Spicer, Ian kick)
Keyport- Treadwell, Nazir 4-yd run (kick)
Manchester- Love, Josh 4-yd run (Spicer, Ian kick)
Keyport- Treadwell, Nazir 1-yd run (kick)
Keyport- Henderson, Mekai 15-yd run (kick)
Manchester- Love, Josh 36-yd run (kick failed)
Keyport- Treadwell, Nazir 10-yd run (kick)
Manchester- Lunn, Aidan 11-yd run (run failed)
Keyport- Treadwell, Nazir 40-yd run (kick)
Manchester Township- Love, Josh 65 pass from Lunn, Aidan (Spicer, Ian kick)
Rushing- Manchester: Love 13-166, Lunn 1-11. Keyport: Henderson 22-184, Treadwell 21-185
Passing- Manchester: Lunn 5-8 144. Keyport: Treadwell 6-6 30.
Receiving- Manchester: Love 1-64, Rekus 1-37, Goins Jr. 1-28, Sarama 1-20. Keyport: Henderson 1-8, Matthews 5-22.