ROSELLE, NJ - The Roselle Rams ended their undefeated football season on Saturday afternoon when they faced the Manasquan Warriors in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 semifinals. Even with their star running back Isiah Byrd, who came into the playoffs with 26 touchdowns and almost 1,700 rushing yards for the season, they were unable to shake the Warriors and come out with a victory.
With two very strong teams, it made for a nail biting game, down to the very last second. The first quarter ended with no points for Roselle and 7 points for Manasquan. The second quarter heated up. The Warriors opened with a scoring drive but the Rams answered back with two touchdowns in a row with one failed 2 point conversion making the score Roselle 13 - Manasquan 14. Manasquan was unable to get a first down but intercepted immediately after turning possession over to Roselle with 6 min. to go in the second quarter. Manasquan answered back with a field goal, leaving the score at halftime Roselle 13 and Manasquan 17.
Late in the third quarter Roselle was able to recover a fumble on their own 17 yard line and scored, making it 21 to 17. However, Manasquan was able to answer back right away in the fourth quarter making it 21 to 24. With 10:03 remaining in the fourth, Roselle tried to run on a 4th and12 but did not make it, turning the ball over to Manasquan on their own 23 yard line.
With only 4:01 left in the game, Manasquan had the ball with 3rd and 2 to go to the goal. Roselle was able to hold them back to the 1 yard line. With 3:55 left, Manasquan went for the 4th and 1 and were successful, making it a 10 point game. With only 0:56 left in the game Roselle pushed hard towards the end zone and scored again, making it 27 to 31. The Rams tried to recover their onside kick to make another touchdown, however the Warriors received the kick and ended the game with a final score of Roselle 27 -Manasquan 31.
*Roselle will play Roselle Park on Thanksgiving Day for the annual rivalry game between the two schools.