By Vin Ebenau - Shore Sports Network Contributor

POINT PLEASANT — Senior quarterback Noah Husak ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries and undefeated Point Boro held on in the waning seconds of the game to defeat Raritan, 33-27, in a Shore Conference nondivisional game on Friday night.

The game started as a typical October night with the wind and cold factoring only to those on hand to watch as the Panthers and Rockets indulged in a see-saw offensive showdown in the first half before separation after the break. In the second half, Raritan kept the game close despite several penalties. Despite all this, the Rockets still had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds  where everyone was on there feet sensing the big moment. Then an interception by senior defensive back Austin Drucquer sealed the fate for the Rockets and gave the Panthers six-point victory to run their record to 7-0.

The scoring began with 7:58 left in the opening quarter as Noah Husak scored from 11 yards out on the first possession for Point Boro, giving the Panthers an early 7-0 edge. Raritan would answer right back, concluding a long drive of its own with a Jordan Smith touchdown reception with 3:42 left in the first quarter to tie the game at seven. The pendulum seemed to be swinging in favor of the Rockets as senior running back Derek Ernst, who was a big part of the Raritan attack, scored a touchdown from 10 yards out with five seconds left on the clock in the first quarter to give the Rockets a 14-7 lead.

The Panthers, however, would return to the end zone just 11 seconds into the second quarter when senior running back Gene Franceschini ran 49 yards downfield to tie the game at 14.

Ernst scored his second touchdown of the day with 9:33 left in the first half before a missed PAT to give the Rockets a 20-14 lead. After the Panthers turned the ball over on downs on the Rockets’ 1-yard line, the defense collected a safety with 3:37 left in half bringing, the score to 20-16 before the free kick. The Panthers took advantage of the next possession and Noah Husak scored his second touchdown of the game on a 16-yard run to give Point Boro a 23-20 halftime lead.

As the third quarter began, Point Boro wasted no time getting down the field and concluded the drive with Hayden Frey reaching for a 23-yard catch for a touchdown at 7:30 left in quarter and extending the Panthers’ lead to 30-20. The next drive produced a 31-yard field goal by Collin Ansbach with to make it 33-20.

With a comeback still a real possibility, the Rockets ran their hurry-up offense in hopes of making up the deficit, and cut the Panthers’ lead to 33-27 with a Mason Sheehan touchdown catch with 3:04 left and the Rockets out of timeouts. The Rockets again moved the ball inside Point Boro’s 20-yard line on their next drive, but Drucquer’s interception at the five-yard line sealed their fate as the Panthers continued their best start since 2007.

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