ISELIN — Nelson Thomas ran for 127 and three touchdowns, Kevin Momat added a late touchdown of his own and Bishop Ahr held on for a 28-26 victory over JF Kennedy Friday night in Iselin. The host Mustangs cut the lead to two with 1:32 remaining when Matt Williams scored for the third time in the game, but the two-point conversion failed, keeping Bishop Ahr ahead for good.
The Mustangs recovered the ensuing onsides kick and drove the ball to the Trojans’ 41, but JFK’s quarterback Tom Farley’s fourth down pass fell incomplete with 24 seconds left, ending the comeback.
“It’s like the stock market; it was up and down all night,” Bishop Ahr Head Coach Don Sofilkanich said. “They did a very nice job, we weren’t consistent in what we were doing and there are some things we need to improve at, but this is a young team that’s starting to grow up. There were some tight moments for us.”
Thomas scored twice in the first quarter and once in the third, the latter coming on a 21-yard romp on Bishop Ahr’s second possession of the second half. Not many of his 23 carries came easy, as the sophomore running back consistently bounced off would-be tacklers to gain extra yardage.
““He played very well for a sophomore,” Sofilkanich said. “He’s going to be a heck of a player for us down the road.”
The Mustangs out-rushed Bishop Ahr 328-151 for the game, with Jessey Rosario’s 117 leading the way. Michael Jensen caught five passes for 103 yards for Bishop Ahr.
JF Kennedy cut the lead to one on the first drive of the fourth quarter, when Rosario rumbled into the end zone, carrying three Bishop Ahr defenders on his back in the process. But the extra point was blocked by Bishop Ahr’s Matthew Hurst, keeping the Trojans ahead by a point.
Momat’s touchdown on the following possession seemed to lock the game up for Bishop Ahr, but the Mustangs refused to go quietly. They drove 10 plays and covered 73 yards before Williams punched in his third score of the game. Williams finished with 56 yards on just six carries.
JF Kennedy elected to receive the opening kickoff, but didn’t even get a chance to send their offense onto the field. Hurst stripped the ball away from JFK’s return man and brought it all the way back to the goal line. Thomas got Bishop Ahr into the end zone on their first play, going in untouched from a yard out.
But JFK came right back with a touchdown drive of their own, going 75 yards on nine plays, knotting the score. The Mustangs used five different players to pound the ball on the ground before Williams scampered home from 15 yards out for the score.