BAYVILLE, NJ - The Southern Regional Rams traveled to Central on Friday night and came up short in an exciting overtime game by a score of 24-23. Sophomore Kavon Chambers scored three touchdowns to lead Central. He ran for 201 yards on 25 carries in his first varsity start. His quickness and speed were a constant challenge to the Rams.
Chambers had a 25-yard touchdown in overtime and the ensuing extra point by senior kicker Shane Black gave the Golden Eagles the dramatic win over the Rams. Central has beaten Southern for four straight years. Chambers had a 6-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 7-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Senior fullback Joe Miele ran for two touchdowns and accumulated 84 yards on the ground. Matt Barnett ran for 66 yards and a touchdown. The Rams were down 10-0 at halftime before rallying to take a 14-10 lead in the fourth quarter. Central came back to regain the lead, 17-14 after Chambers second touchdown run.
Southern's Zach Hem kicked a game tying 25-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the game to tie the contest at 17 and put the game into overtime.
Southern immediately scored on the first play in overtime as Matt Barnett ran around the right side for a 25 yard touchdown. The Rams were up 23-17 at that point. Zach Hem missed the crucial extra point after Barnett's TD. Central got their chance on offense in OT and on their first play, Chambers bursted 25 yards into the end zone. Shane Black converted on the extra point kick and Southern came up short 24-23 in this exciting contest.
Southern had a lot to be proud of in the contest. The Rams were not able to move the ball early and fell behind 10-0 at halftime. Southern dominated the offensive line of scrimmage in the second half as Joe Miele scored two touchdowns to put the Rams ahead 14-10.
"I thought the first half everybody was running for touchdowns, instead of digging in for first downs, moving the ball and playing football the way it's supposed to be played," said Coach Chuck Donohue. "We settled down in the second half, made plays and played well. We couldn't stop the plays on the outside, didn't stop it all night. Chambers is very talented, an excellent and great runner. We had a couple of chances to win the game in regulation, a couple of mistakes in execution and we didn't get it done."
When asked how his team might respond to such a tough loss, Coach Donohue said "The players have to pick their pants up and get back to it. Will they stay down and not bounce back? I don't think so. The players played well in the second half and I expect they will bounce back, keep working and improving."
This is tough for the Rams to again begin their season 0-1, but this team is a strong team and has the potential to have a very successful season. We will see how the Rams bounce back as Southern hosts Toms River North on Friday September 8 at 7 p.m.
|1st: Central Regional: FG Shane Black 35
2nd: Central Regional: Kavon Chambers 6 run (Shane Black kick)
3rd: Southern: Joe Miele 1 run (Zack Hem kick)
4th: Southern: Joe Miele 2 run (Zack Hem kick)
4th: Central Regional: Kavon Chambers 7 run (Shane Black kick)
4th: Southern: FG Zack Hem 25
1st OT: Southern: Matt Barnett 25 run (kick failed)
1st OT: Central Regional: Kavon Chambers 25 run (Shane Black kick)