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Hornets rally to beat Lynnfield

LYNNFIELD — The writing was on the wall for North Reading. 
With the Hornets trailing by four points, area rushing leader Matt McCarthy was lost to a left leg injury on the first play of the third quarter. 
The Hornets were forced to punt and on the ensuing drive, Lynnfield’s Matt Mortellite hit Louie Ellis on a 60-yard touchdown strike down the right sideline.
But the Hornets showed no quit, chipping away at the deficit. A Bob O’Donnell 39-yard field goal with about four minutes left, proved to be the difference in a 21-20 win for the Hornets.
On a day full of heroes, O’Donnell was perhaps the biggest, making the two field goals and finishing with 14 tackles, including one sack, as well as serving a critical role blocking on the right side of the offensive line when John Merullo went in for McCarthy.
“(O’Donnell) never comes off the field,” said North Reading coach Jeff Wall, whose club finished 9-2. “Sometimes he might come close to the sideline to get a water, but he never crosses that white line. He’s amazing, I don’t know how he does it.
“This is a really special group of players. They never quit.”
With McCarthy sidelined for the second half and the Hornets trailing by 11 points, North Reading put the ball in the hand of another senior, Merullo, who rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries, almost all of which came after McCarthy’s injury.
“It was tough seeing Matt go down,” Merullo said. “I just went in there and tried to do my best to win it for him. That’s what we were all trying to do, we were out there trying to win it for him.”
North Reading’s first touchdown came late in the third quarter. On fourth down, Kyle Bythrow scrambled to his right and avoided a sack before finding Jake Bedell, who broke off his route to get open. O’Donnell rushed for a two-point conversion to make it 14-11.
Bob Donohue blocked a punt on the first play of the fourth quarter, setting up a Merullo 3-yard touchdown run to give the Hornets an 18-14 lead.
North Reading forced Lynnfield to punt again on its next possession before storming down field 74 yards on eight plays. O’Donnell took the field on fourth and 10, kicking the 39-yarder.
“You have to block out the noise,” O’Donnell said. “I’ve kicked some like that in practice maybe, but that one was special.”
With four minutes left in the game, the Pioneers had what they thought was a game-tying touchdown with 2:39 remaining when Matt Mortellite hit Louie Ellis on a back-shoulder throw for 30 yards, but the PAT narrowly missed.
North Reading ran down the clock on its next possession, punting on fourth-and-1 with 1:52 remaining, but North Reading safety Ryan Edison sealed the win with an interception.

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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Perry (7 TD passes) ends career in spectacular fashion

ANDOVER — As the clock began to tick down in the fourth quarter, Andover QB E.J. Perry IV was pulled aside by his coaches.
“They said, ‘This is the last pass of your high school career,’” Perry IV remembered. “So they asked me what I wanted to call.”
Like with so many choices in his record-setting career, Perry IV made the perfect decision.
The soon-to-be Boston College quarterback stepped back in the pocket and dropped a picture-perfect over-the-shoulder pass into the hands of classmate Jack Boese. All he had to do was shake one defender then cruise into the end zone for a 58-yard TD.
“I knew what it meant, so I knew I HAD to catch that pass,” said Boese. “It was amazing running into that end zone on my home field one last time. It was an honor to catch E.J.’s last touchdown pass.”
That was touchdown No. 7 on the day for Perry IV, to five different receivers as Andover rolled to a 49-20 victory over North Andover before a small crowd of about 300 fans in the second installment of their Thanksgiving Day rivalry.
With his final monster day, Perry IV tied the Massachusetts single-season record for touchdown passes with 47, matching the mark set by Troy Flutie of Natick in 2013.
He also upped his final career touchdown pass total to 114, passing future BC teammate Flutie for second in the state’s history.
“It all just really started to hit me,” said Perry IV, fighting back a bit of emotions as family members and friends lined up for photos. “I never tried to think about the numbers, but it is pretty amazing. And I went out a winner in my last Andover game. That’s really special.”
Perry won’t be playing basketball or baseball as he’s graduating early and will enroll at BC in January.
Perry IV and his receivers were unstoppable in their Thanksgiving finale, as the QB threw touchdown passes on all but one possession he played before leaving the game early in the fourth.
Just four plays into the game, Perry IV fired a dart into the end zone for an 8-yard score to running back Jeremy Travaglini.
On the second possession, he lofted a pass into the end zone that John Marotta jumped for, then landed with his tiptoes just in bounds for a TD.
Andover then used some trickery on possession No. 3. Perry IV tossed the ball to Travaglini, who flipped it to receiver Cedric Gillette, who sent the ball back to Perry on a flea-flicker. The QB then lofted a pass to longtime best friend Joe Rockwell, who cruised 71 yards into the end zone for the first of his three TDs on the day.
After Rockwell struck again, Perry found Gillette to close out the first half. He opened the second half with another Rockwell score.
Finally, it was Perry to Boese for the 58-yard score to close out his career.
“Coach Ibby (Bryan Ibbitson) let me make the last call and I wanted to throw one to Boese,” said Perry IV. “Boese burnt the defender off the line, I threw it to him and he made a great play. It was a perfect way to end it.”
Perry IV then rode off into the sunset, receiving countless hugs and pats on the back from teammates as he remained on the sidelines for the final quarter.
“We wanted to stay out there and finish it,” joked Rockwell. “It’s so sad to think that’s the last time I will be catching passes from E.J. But we went out the way we wanted to. We wanted to finish it off right.”
With his 315 yards — on 20 of 30 throwing — Perry IV finished his career with 8,754 yards, second in state history to Flutie (9,014). 
He also rushed for a game-high 140 yards on the day, giving the former strict pocket passer 1,007 rushing yards on the season, entering a select list of area QBs to throw and pass for over 1,000 yards in a season.
Sure-handed duo
Heading into the season with just one career catch, Rockwell’s 118 receiving yards and three touchdowns on Thanksgiving gave him 1,063 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Cedric Gillette (7 catches, 80 yards, TD) ended his junior season with 1,158 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
“We just wanted to throw the ball around one more time,” said Gillette. “It’s been amazing to play with E.J. and the rest of these guys. It’s been a wild year.”
For the Knights (4-7), one highlight was a brilliant broken field run by Darren Watson for a 40-yard score in the first quarter. He also caught a 52-yard TD pass from Jake McElroy.
Perry’s final numbers
E.J. Perry IV’s new records: 
Career passing yards — 8,754 (second in state history)
Career TD passes — 114 (second in state history)
Season TD passes — 47 (ties state record)
Season passing yards — 3,416

Andover, North Andover
North Andover (4-7):      6  6 0 8 — 20
Andover (6-5):     21 14 7 7 — 49
First Quarter
 A — Jeremy Travaglini 8 pass from E.J. Perry IV (Charlie Ziegenbein kick), 9:28
 NA — Darren Watson 40 run (rush failed), 5:53
 A — John Marotta 8 pass from Perry IV (Ziegenbein kick), 3:22
 A — Joe Rockwell 71 pass from Perry IV (Ziegenbein kick),1:21
Second Quarter
 A — Rockwell 5 pass from Perry IV (Ziegenbein kick),7:57
 NA — Jake McElroy 52 pass from Watson (rush failed), 2:22
 A — Cedric Gillette 18 pass from Perry IV (Ziegenbein kick),0:53
Third Quarter
 A — Rockwell 6 pass from Perry IV (Ziegenbein kick), 9:39
Fourth Quarter
 A — Jake Boese 58 pass from Perry IV (Ziegenbein kick), 9:45
 NA — Connor Walsh 26 interception return, (Joseph Allen rush), 2:49
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
RUSHING: ANDOVER (18-160) — E.J. Perry IV 14-140, Vishvesh Kaul 4-20; NO. ANDOVER (28-96) — Darren Watson 14-94, Connor Walsh 8-5, Jake McElroy 4-(-7), Will Testa 2-4
PASSING: ANDOVER — Perry IV 20-30-0, 315, Nick Dellatto 1-2-1, 10: NO. ANDOVER — Watson 1-1-0, 52; McElroy 3-6-0, 14; Walsh 0-1-0
RECEIVING: ANDOVER — Joe Rockwell 5-118, Cedric Gillette 7-80, Jack Boese 3-80, John Marotta 3-24, Jeremy Travaglini 2-13, Patrick Dennehy 1-10; NO. ANDOVER — McElroy 1-52, Watson 2-11, Nick Tierno 1-3

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Reach sportswriter/videographer David Willis on Twitter at @DWillisET

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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Triton snaps 6-game losing streak to Pentucket

BYFIELD — Triton senior running back Liam Spillane wanted the ball — a lot.
And he got the ball — a lot.
The senior captain’s massive rushing day, capped by four touchdowns, was the difference in the Vikings’ 33-18 win over Pentucket. The hosts snapped a six-game holiday losing streak against the Sachems.
Spillane ran for 220 yards on 29 carries with 147 of those yards and three of his touchdowns coming in the second half.
“It’s my last year obviously so I felt good,” said Spillane. “The team was depending on me and I loved every second of it.”
His first came on a 4-yard push up the middle for a score for the Vikings (9-3), who bounced back from Saturday’s 54-13 thrashing by Hanover in the Division 3 state semifinals. 
For his final score in a Triton uniform, Spillane carried defenders into the end zone from 12 yards out with just under seven minutes to go to put the icing on the cake, making it 33-18 Vikings.
Playing with a cast on his hand, Pentucket senior tri-captain Liam Sheehy wasn’t going to let an injury hold him back, rushing 18 times for 111 yards and a score in the fourth quarter.
“It was definitely really nice,” said Sheehy of his touchdown. “We needed that. We needed one before the game ended, so it was just a good confidence booster for everyone.”
Senior quarterback Finn Graham and senior pass-catching back Robert Porter got theirs as well, hooking up for scores of 15 and 51 yards.
“Robert Porter’s a great receiver,” said Graham. “We have good chemistry. Pretty much every time he’s out there I’m confident he’s going to catch the ball.
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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Methuen defense puts on a clinic

METHUEN — It was even better than a case of mission accomplished.
By defeating Dracut 14-0 for its third straight win to end the season, Methuen did more than just reach its mid-season goal of a winning season (6-5).
“Shutting them out today, that was our goal,” said senior linebacker Trevor Abdallah. “It’s not easy to do, and we weren’t counting on it, but this feels great.”
Maligned at the start of the season, particularly the secondary, Methuen’s defense was stout on Thanksgiving, allowing just 113 total yards, none of them through the air. Talented Dracut quarterback Mike Levasseur didn’t completed a pass all day and had little success running the ball after the first quarter.
Methuen won five of its last six games to close the season.
Among those shutting down the Middies (6-5) were Abdallah and his twin brother Travis, junior Travis Manick, Eddie Guzman, Joey Hutnick, and linemen Christian Page and Bryce Smith.
Dracut only managed one serious threat and it came midway through the fourth quarter. With a second-and-goal from the 1-yard-line, the Middies were stuffed three straight times, first by Smith, next by Ian Gonzalez and Trevor Abdallah, and finally by Paige and Hutnick.
“One of our offseason goals this year was to improve our defense and I feel we did that,” said Methuen coach Tom Ryan. “I think we’ve become a pretty good defense.
“A lot of kids played well today but I can’t say enough about Bryce Smith. He does a lot for us in there and has really become an elite player.”
Smith is certainly happy with the improvement of the defense, which allowed one or no touchdowns in three of the Rangers’ final six games.
“We communicated better and came together like a band of brothers,” said Smith. “This is just a great feeling.”
Jordan Perdomo was involved in all of Methuen’s points.
The Rangers got on the board first late in the first half when Perdomo completed a 62-yard drive with a 7-yard TD pass to junior David Kelly. He kicked the extra point with an assist from Kelly, who made a nice hold on an errant snap.
On that scoring drive, junior Peter Kwakye accounted for 58 yards. That would be the last action of the season for Kwakye, who broke his collarbone on the drive and was unable to play in the second half.
But, freshman Matt Martino filled in admirably for Kwakye in the backfield and the defense took care of the rest.
The Rangers added an insurance touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter on a 1-yard Perdomo sneak. It was set up two plays earlier by a 39-yard pass from Perdomo to a wide-open tight end Sawyer Bilich.
“They were tough but we pretty much executed the plays we wanted, especially that tight end pass,” said Perdomo.
The versatile signal-caller was 6 of 10 passing for 95 yards, rushed for 55 yards, including 47 in the second half, and nearly nailed a 41-yard field goal, falling just short when the attempt hit the cross bar.
Perdomo, Kwakye, Kelly and Bilich are among those who will return on offense next year along with such defensive stalwarts as Manick and Smith. With that in mind, Ryan is relishing the future.
“We feel the program is going in the right direction and the culture has improved,” said Ryan. “We’re excited about next year.”
Perhaps next year the Rangers can tie up the Thanksgiving series with Dracut. The Middies now lead it 26-25-3.
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Royals dominate to cap turnaround season

MANCHESTER — Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game between Manchester Essex and Georgetown appeared to be a good matchup on paper. Both teams came in with a winning record on the line. 
But Georgetown rolled past the Hornets 35-0 at Hyland Field. 
With the win, the Royals took home the Eric Dimao/Fran York Trophy and finish off the season at 6-4, their first winning season since 2008 and a huge jump from last year’s 1-10 record. The Hornets finish up at 5-6.
“Hats off to the seniors, we fought hard and wanted to make a statement,” Royals head coach Eric McCarthy said. “We were on the wrong side of the score last year so we wanted to make sure this year’s result was different. All the hard work that these guys have put in during the offseason paid off.”
The Royals led 14-0 at the break. 
In the third quarter, Mark Mansfield scored his second touchdown of the morning with a 9-yard run to give the Royals a 21-0 lead.
The Royals put the game away with two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Senior Jon Lavina scored on a 29-yard pass from Tommy Long and Cam Barnard scored from two yards out. 
The Royals’ first score came when the speedy junior Mansfield raced 73 yards to paydirt with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter. 
Midway through the second quarter, junior Anthony D’Amato ran 28 yards for a score. 
Manchester Essex’s best scoring drive of the game came at the very end of the first half but D’Amato picked off a Charlie Otterbein pass in the end zone.
“Georgetown is a good team and coach Eric McCarthy does a great job with them,” Hutton said. “You have to hand it to them, they played a great game.”

Georgetown 35, Manchester 0
Georgetown (6-4): 7 7 14 7 — 35
Manchester (5-6): 0 0  0 0 —  0
First Quarter
 G — Mark Mansfield 82 run (Jimmy Sherman kick)
Second Quarter
 G — Anthony D’Amato 48 run (Sherman kick)
Third Quarter
 G — Mansfield 8 run (Sherman kick)
 G — Sherman 32 pass from Tommy Long (Sherman kick)
Fourth Quarter
 G — Cam Barnard 4 run (Sherman kick)

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
RUSHING: Georgetown — Mark Mansfield 18-99; Tommy Long 5-29; Anthony D’Amato 3-15; Jim Sherman 1-5; Evan Guyer 1-3; Hunter Lane 1-3. Manchester Essex — Robbie Sarmanian 12-32; Jake Athanas 8-19; Charlie Otterbein 3-21; Danny Rodier 9-27
PASSING: Georgetown — Long 2-4-1, 43;  Guyer 1-1-0, 25; Manchester Essex —  Otterbein 5-12-1, 72
RECEIVING: Georgetown — Lavina 2-43; Colin Dow 1-25. Manchester Essex — Athanas 4-38; Sarmanian 1-4; Jackson Levendusky 3-30
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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Stadium reopens with Central Catholic romp

LAWRENCE — No matter who won Thursday between Central Catholic and Lawrence, there was a common theme which brought both teams together.
It felt good to be home.
The old turf at Veterans Memorial Stadium served as the home for both the Raiders and the Lancers, but neither team thought they would play on it again this season after it was destroyed Oct. 2 during the “Festeja Boston” festival.
But there everyone was Thursday morning, gathered together on the brand new turf with Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera tossing the ceremonial coin toss.
For the seniors for both teams, playing their last game on their home field meant everything.
“We’ve been wanting to play here all year,” said Central senior co-captain David Onyemem. “We only got to play one home game here this season so I’m definitely glad we were able to play here today.”
While both teams enjoyed the homecoming, it was Central that came away with the 32-6 victory to finish its season 8-2.
Lawrence faced an uphill task trying to earn its first win of the season against the powerhouse Raiders, and finished the season 0-11.
“It was very big to come back here and get a win,” said Central’s dominating senior linemen Carlos Cabrera. “We hadn’t been able to play here since early September so it was good to come back home.”
Central blitzed to an 18-0 lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to a 6-yard run by Max Faro and a 33-yard interception return by T.J. Vaughan.
As time expired in the first, junior quarterback Bret Edwards found Onyemem over double coverage in the back left end of the endzone.
“I just ran the route, stuck to the right and then broke left and the ball was right there waiting for me,” said Onyemem. “I just went up there and got it.”
The Raiders increased their lead to 25-0 at the half when Mathias Villafane caught a 48-yard bullet of a pass from Edwards. Villafane led the team with 68 yards on five receptions.
Late in the third quarter, Edwards found Anthony Farelli on a 25-yard strike for his third touchdown pass of the day. Edwards finished an impressive 14-of-18 passing for 178 yards.
Lawrence scored midway through the fourth when senior Angel Abreu hit Andre Wilson on a 2-yard fade route in the right corner of the endzone.
Abreu led the Lancers with 77 yards on 13 carries and also went 2 for 3 passing for 50 yards and the touchdown. He also caught a pass, and deservedly won his team’s MVP award for the game.
Edwards was not the only junior who was spectacular for Central Thursday. Faro rushed for 116 yards on only eight carries.
“It was awesome to get to play here today,” said Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “I love it here. When I got here, I was just hanging over the fence and watching us warm-up and just smiling. I know it meant a lot to Lawrence too so it was just a great day!”

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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

McGovern, Hillies cap brilliant 9-2 season; best season in 80 years

LOWELL – Lowell High went for the immediate kill shot, looking to sap the life out of Haverhill quickly with a double-reverse, flea-flicker for a 65-yard TD on the game’s opening play.
The 2016 Hillies are far too talented and way too resilient to let a tiny 7-0 deficit alter their course.
Set on making history, Haverhill High did just that, pounding the host Red Raiders, 64-36, to finish the school’s best football season in the modern era at 9-2.
The last 9-win season by the Hillies? You’d have to go all the way back to the 9-0 championship team in 1936. 
The Merrimack Valley Conference champs swept through the large division at 5-0, the dominant force in the league from Day 1 in September to yesterday’s finale.
“It’s been a great year, and I’m proud of the kids,” said coach Tim O’Connor, whose club lost only the season opener to St. John’s Prep and a Division 1 North playoff game to Everett. “We didn’t reach the ultimate goal, but Haverhill 9-2 compared to (32 straight losses from 2008-10)? I will take it.”
O’Connor’s crew featured 22 senior starters, and it felt like every one of them had an impact, starting with the QB and his receivers.
Broghean McGovern made it look easy through the air, hitting 11 of 15 passes for 295 yards and six scores.
“I have the best receiving corps in the state, and I mean that,” said the three-year starter.
Jukka Morales caught TDs of 51, 37 and 49 yards to lead the way. Aaron Brooks struck with touchdowns of 8 and 57 yards, while Teshaun Watson had the other, a four-yarder on 4th-and-goal on the Hillies’ opening possession.
But the heroes were everywhere.
McGovern (14 carries, 181 yards, 2 TDs) and J.C. Laguerre (19-89, 2 TDs) worked the read-option to perfection.
Ryan Panici, Josh Gendron and Mason Wilkins anchored a monster effort up front on the offensive line. Defensively, Elias Gaetano, Jason Tufts and Jacob Dion laid the lumber and made big plays. No play was bigger than defensive tackle Kirk Murray’s end-zone interception that thwarted Lowell on the final possession of the first half.
Haverhill made it two straight Turkey Day wins over Lowell and closed out this year with three straight victories following the playoff disappointment against Everett.
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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Ojany: Oh, my! Belliard scores six TDs in romp over Whittier

WEST ANDOVER — When Ojany Belliard woke up on Thanksgiving morning, he knew it would be the last high school football game he’d ever play.
Might as well go out and make it a memorable one.
Belliard put on a performance for the ages, rushing for 216 yards and scoring six touchdowns to lead the Reggies to a 51-6 win over Whittier Tech. The senior running back set the tone with a 65-yard touchdown on the third play of the game, and finished with four rushing touchdowns plus a pick six and a kickoff return touchdown.
“This is the best way to end your career,” Belliard said. “This is my last high school game of football ever, and I’m never coming back, and I’m beyond pleased on the way it ended. I’m beyond pleased.”
After the first touchdown, the Reggies forced a three-and-out and drove 63 yards in six plays, capping things off with a 4-yard Belliard score. 
Then on their next drive, quarterback Kyle Vasconcellos connected with Leyton Barr for a 49-yard touchdown to make it 22-0 after the first.
In the second quarter, Belliard got loose for touchdowns of 79 yards and 31 yards, and the defense kept strong to make it 37-0 at halftime.
After the break, Whittier controlled the ball for virtually the entire third quarter. The only time Greater Lawrence touched the ball was after Belliard snared an interception and then took it 75 yards the other way for his fifth score.
Whittier didn’t score on either of its two third-quarter possessions, but the Cats did break through in the fourth to avert the shutout. Starting with good field position after forcing a turnover on downs near midfield, the Wildcats drove into the red zone, and quarterback Kevin Bradley Jr. found Sam Rebinskas for an 8-yard touchdown.
But on the very next play, Belliard received the kickoff and took it 80 yards to the end zone to put an exclamation mark on an epic Thanksgiving performance.
“As a coach, I couldn’t be more proud,” said Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis. “He’s turned into a nice young man who is going to be a great leader in his community when he goes to college and does great things there.”
In addition to Belliard, Greater Lawrence also got 38 yards rushing from junior David White and 32 yards from senior Vincent Mammola. Vasconcellos went 2 for 3 with 53 yards, and junior kicker Franklin Morales was a perfect 5 for 5 on extra point kicks.
Whittier was led by Bradley, who went 12 for 30 passing with 131 yards, senior Corey Greaney caught five passes for 55 yards, and Rebinskas had three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Greater Lawrence wraps up the season at 7-4, while Whittier finishes 3-8.

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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Hamden Hall uses three late TDs to dump Brooks in Atkins Bowl

PROVIDENCE — Just three plays in and Brooks was already trying to dig itself out of a hole.
Hamden Hall, a team known for its prolific offense (44.7 points per game), forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown just 70 seconds into the New England Prep Mike Atkins Bowl Friday evening.
A big blow right from the start, but nothing that Brooks could not recover from.
But after another stop on defense, Hamden quarterback Luke Schoonmaker took his team’s first offense play 87 yards to the house, stunning the Brooks’ faithful and sending a buzz up and down the Hornets bench.
The game played rather evenly from that point, with Brooks even sniffing a lead early in the fourth quarter. 
But Hamden (11-0) would not be denied its perfect season, using an early lead and a 20-point fourth quarter explosion to beat Brooks 38-13 at Berylson Family Fields at Brown University.
“We got behind the 8-ball early,” said Brooks coach Pat Foley, whose club finished with a 7-2 record. “Our defense had only been on the field for one play and we were already down two touchdowns. But they have a great offense and we knew that, and as the game went on they certainly showed it.”
While the final scoreboard will show 38 points for the Connecticut school, a Brooks defense which had posted back to back shutouts kept it close most of the way.
Down 18-0 with Hamden driving in the red zone, Nick Konovalchik recovered a fumble and nearly took it the length of the field for a score. The 70-yard return eventually set up a 1-yard Seamus Lambert quarterback keeper near the end of the first half to swing the momentum.
Coming out of halftime, Hamden’s first two drives ended in a Terrell Brown interception and another Brooks fumble recovery. 
Midway through the third quarter, Brown took a reverse handoff for a 52-yard score which brought Brooks to within a touchdown.
After another stop on defense it seemed as though Lambert had given Brooks the lead with a deep TD strike to Justin Connolly, but an offensive holding call brought the play back.
“That was kind of a tough sequence there,” said Foley. “I thought we were going to score and go up, but in a blink it was a completely different game.”
Midway through the fourth Schoonmaker hit David Spitz for a 35-yard touchdown to bump the lead back up to 22-13. Desperation attempts caused two consecutive Brooks turnovers, both of which were capitalized upon for touchdowns by Hamden.
Brown was the man for Brooks, finishing with a team-high 52 yards on the ground, 80 receiving yards on three catches and an interception on defense.
“I’m proud of these guys,” said Foley. “They had a great season and I feel bad that we couldn’t get the win today for the seniors.”
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Football, 11/18/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Hamden Hall uses three late TDs to dump Brooks in Atkins Bowl

PROVIDENCE — Just three plays in and Brooks was already trying to dig itself out of a hole.
Hamden Hall, a team known for its prolific offense (44.7 points per game), forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown just 70 seconds into the New England Prep Mike Atkins Bowl Friday evening.
A big blow right from the start, but nothing that Brooks could not recover from.
But after another stop on defense, Hamden quarterback Luke Schoonmaker took his team’s first offense play 87 yards to the house, stunning the Brooks’ faithful and sending a buzz up and down the Hornets bench.
The game played rather evenly from that point, with Brooks even sniffing a lead early in the fourth quarter. 
But Hamden (11-0) would not be denied its perfect season, using an early lead and a 20-point fourth quarter explosion to beat Brooks 38-13 at Berylson Family Fields at Brown University.
“We got behind the 8-ball early,” said Brooks coach Pat Foley, whose club finished with a 7-2 record. “Our defense had only been on the field for one play and we were already down two touchdowns. But they have a great offense and we knew that, and as the game went on they certainly showed it.”
While the final scoreboard will show 38 points for the Connecticut school, a Brooks defense which had posted back to back shutouts kept it close most of the way.
Down 18-0 with Hamden driving in the red zone, Nick Konovalchik recovered a fumble and nearly took it the length of the field for a score. The 70-yard return eventually set up a 1-yard Seamus Lambert quarterback keeper near the end of the first half to swing the momentum.
Coming out of halftime, Hamden’s first two drives ended in a Terrell Brown interception and another Brooks fumble recovery. 
Midway through the third quarter, Brown took a reverse handoff for a 52-yard score which brought Brooks to within a touchdown.
After another stop on defense it seemed as though Lambert had given Brooks the lead with a deep TD strike to Justin Connolly, but an offensive holding call brought the play back.
“That was kind of a tough sequence there,” said Foley. “I thought we were going to score and go up, but in a blink it was a completely different game.”
Midway through the fourth Schoonmaker hit David Spitz for a 35-yard touchdown to bump the lead back up to 22-13. Desperation attempts caused two consecutive Brooks turnovers, both of which were capitalized upon for touchdowns by Hamden.
Brown was the man for Brooks, finishing with a team-high 52 yards on the ground, 80 receiving yards on three catches and an interception on defense.
“I’m proud of these guys,” said Foley. “They had a great season and I feel bad that we couldn’t get the win today for the seniors.”
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Football, 11/18/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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