Sat, Nov 12, 2011
01:00 PM @
BG narrowly escapes huge upset to Owls in semifinals
Saturday, November, 26
By Chuck Frye
NASHUA — For Timberlane, it was a genuine shot at redemption when it mattered most, in the Division 2 playoffs.
Hopes of erasing a nine-game losing streak to Bishop Guertin rose when Shawn Grenier separated a Cardinal return man from the ball on the opening kickoff, recovered by the visitors at the 31-yard line leading to a game-opening touchdown.
And when the Owls bounced back from a damaging three-minute, 16-point first-half BG run to take the lead late in the third quarter, upset dreams were palpable.
But the top seed wasn’t about to let a berth in the finals slide through its fingers as some heads-up work by quarterback Robert Fahey combined with timely defense to guide the Cardinals past Timberlane yesterday, 29-26.
BG will host Dover, a last-second winner over Spaulding yesterday, at Stellos Stadium Saturday for the title.
The key moment of the contest came with 9:30 left to play, 3 1/2 minutes after a well-designed 14-yard pass from Evan Bidgood (140 yards, two TDs) to Ryan McCarthy completed the comeback from a 13-point deficit to a 26-22 advantage.
Bishop Guertin was struggling in the second half thanks to brutal defense from defensive end Efrain Rolon (four tackles), nose guard Jordan Eastman (sack, three tackles) and linebacker Dillon Brann (six stops). And after a heady play from tackle William Joyce to snuff out a BG screen pass up the middle, the Cardinals faced a long third-down, and possibly their third straight three-and-out.
Quarterback Robert Fahey had other ideas, though, imploring head coach Travis Cote to run another screen pass on the left side to sophomore Clyde Boykin.
Cote agreed and Fahey was right, catching the Owls in a blitz that opened up the corner. The speedster was off, galloping 55 yards down the sideline to the end zone for the deciding touchdown.
“(Robert) actually called it,” said Cote. “We’ve run it in practice for several weeks and haven’t used it. Thank God he thought of it because that was the play. Clyde had the breakaway speed, and if you get him in the open, it makes the difference.”
“Travis made a nice call,” said Owl head coach Kevin Fitzgerald. “He threw a throwback screen to a playmaker, and (Boykin) made one.”
Timberlane more than did its part to create an exciting semifinal. Workhorse junior Josh David pounded out 77 rushing yards and the Owls’ first touchdown and caught four Bidgood tosses for 47 more yards including an 8-yard score. And Rolon took advantage of a pressured Fahey to pick off a second-quarter pass and return it 70 yards to the house to keep Timberlane close.
As a team, the Owls converted 11 of 16 third-down plays to keep drives, and hopes, alive.
“We felt really good about our chances to win this game and we were right there until the very end,” said Fitzgerald. “Bishop Guertin made one more play than we did, and that’s why they’re moving on and we’re going home.”
Division 2 Semifinals
T — Josh David 5 run (kick blocked), 10:32
BG — Nick Marino 5 run (Chris Fox kick), 6:39
BG — safety, T intentional grounding in end zone, 4:49
BG — Zach Mailloux 27 run (Steven Toscano kick), 3:28
BG — Fox 22 FG, 10:33
T — David 8 pass from Evan Bidgood (Jacob Burke kick), 6:11
T — Efrain Rolon 70 interception return (Burke kick), 4:02
BG — Toscano 28 FG, 0:00
T — Ryan McCarthy 14 pass from Bidgood (run failed), 0:53
BG — Clyde Boykin 55 pass from Robert Fahey (Fox kick), 9:24
RUSHING: Timberlane (40-141) — Josh David 22-77, Anthony Gillis 9-35, Evan Bidgood 9-29; Bishop Guertin (38-203) — Zach Mailloux 14-66, Blake Boudreau 6-62, Nolan Cornell 4-38, Clyde Boykin 3-32, Nick Marino 2-9, Robert Fahey 9-(-4)
PASSING: Timberlane — Bidgood 13-30-1, 140; Bishop Guertin — Fahey 4-6-1, 95
RECEIVING: Timberlane — David 4-47, Ryan McCarthy 4-36, Efrain Rolon 3-34, Ricky Gulezian 2-23; Bishop Guertin — Nathan Chartrand 2-37, Boykin 1-55, Boudreau 1-3