Barnegat plays its first home playoff game tonight.

Its opponent won't have far to travel.

The Bengals host Shore Conference rival Point Pleasant Borough.

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Barnegat started 0-2 but has won five of its last six games. The Bengals have been known for their offensive prowess in the past. But this year's team features a stingy defense.

Point Pleasant comes off an impressive defensive performance. The Panthers clinched a playoff spot with a 36-0 win over Manchester Township last Friday.

Key players for Point Pleasant Borough: John Dunbar, QB, 146 caries for 961 yards and 15 touchdowns; Jack Vitale, RB; Chris Oliphant, DB; Kurt Van Benschoten, MLB.

Key players for Barnegat: David Smithman (above), RB, 114 carries for 658 yards; Mark McCoy, QB, 72-of-124 for 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns; Pat Moran, WR, 32 catches for 536 yards and four touchdowns; Ryan Morris, TE/LB, 14 catches for 282 yards; Matt Schofield, LB, 77 tackles and three sacks; Vinny Calderon, DL, 46 tackles and 3½ sacks; Jordan Salt, DB, five interceptions.

Keys to victory: Barnegat must find a way to slow Point Pleasant's triple-option offense. The Bengals haven't seen that offense since they faced Monsignor Donovan in a preseason scrimmage.

On offense, Barnegat's passing game could give Point Pleasant troubles.

Who: Sixth-seeded Pt. Pleasant Borough vs. third-seeded Barnegat (5-3)

When/where: 7 p.m. today at Barnegat

Admission: $3 adults and $2 students and senior citizens

Radio: 105.7 FM

What's next: Winner advances to next weekend's semifinals against the winner of tonight's quarterfinal between seventh-seeded Pemberton and second-seeded West Deptford.

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