Central Catholic, St. John's Shrewsbury


LAWRENCE — This was nothing unusual for Central Catholic senior Justice McGrail.

Except that the stakes were higher and the stage was brighter.

Whatever the case, McGrail stood out Friday night as the Raiders took care of St. John's of Shrewsbury, 37-13, in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Division 1 football playoffs.

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Football, 11/13/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Surrette, Hillies pound Cambridge for first win

HAVERHILL — Adrian Surrette was immense on both sides of the ball, to lead Haverhill High to its first tournament victory of the season, 42-7, over Cambridge Rindge & Latin, Friday night.
Offensively, the junior ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries and threw for a third score. Defensively, he intercepted a pair of passes in the first quarter.
The Hillies dominated on both sides of the ball, rolling up more than 350 yards of total offense, including 301 on the ground. Defensively, Haverhill was nearly perfect, shutting down everything the Falcons tried to do. Cambridge was held to minus-2 yards rushing on 12 attempts and quarterback Ben Berlinsky, under a heavy pass rush all night, was sacked twice and intercepted three times.
Cambridge (1-8) didn't earn its first first down without the help of a penalty until midway through the third quarter. And by that point, Haverhill had built a 28-0 lead and had the game well in hand.
For Haverhill Head Coach Tim O'Connor, it was a gratifying result, given the hard work his team has put in and its struggles against the iron of the Merrimack Valley Conference.
"It's been a long time coming," said O'Connor. "I'm proud of the effort and I'm proud of the commitment level. The level of loyalty of all the kids has been exceptional and I'm just really proud of them."
Haverhill (1-9) wasted no time setting the tone for the game. On Cambridge's second play from scrimmage, Surrette stepped in front of a Berlinsky pass for an interception, setting up the Hillies at the Falcons' 34 yard line. Five plays later, senior Tristin Naylor (10 rushes, 66 yards) swept around left end for a 7-yard touchdown run and a 6-0 lead.
On the first play of the second quarter, quarterback Shawn Joubert scored on a 4-yard run, capping a 51-yard drive. Alec Valenti rushed for the two-point conversion to make it 14-0. 
But the Hillies weren't done.
Later in the quarter, they put together a 78-yard scoring drive that ate up nearly seven minutes. Surrette put the exclamation point on the drive with a perfect 52-yard touchdown pass to Naylor, who split the defense and snared the pass in stride.
Haverhill extended the lead to 28-0 on its opening drive of the third quarter, with Joseph Spero scoring from two yards out.
Cambridge finally broke the shutout when Berlinsky (9 of 15, 82 yards) connected with Libaan Aden on a 9-yard touchdown pass. But that third quarter drive featured the only offensive first downs the Falcons would manage for the game.
Haverhill wrapped up the scoring in the fourth quarter on a pair of touchdown runs by Surrette, the first from 3 yards and the second, a highlight-reel 52 yard scamper.
In between, the Haverhill defense recorded its third interception. This one was a spectacular leaping grab by sophomore Davin Carreiro.
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Football, 11/12/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Melendez, Reggies blank Arlington Catholic

WEST ANDOVER — Greater Lawrence Tech's defense stymied Arlington Catholic throughout in a 13-0 non-playoff game win Friday at Louis E. Gleason Field. Isiah Suero and Manny Vasquez scored on short runs and the defense did the rest for the Reggies (now 3-7). Tackles Juan Alvarado and Dom Colon both had five tackles and a sack. Julian Melendez contributed two sacks. Outside linebacker Joe Carroll's pretty over-the-shoulder interception sealed the shutout. The Reggies' last shutout was 21 games ago ... 43-0 over Nashoba Tech on Oct. 18, 2019. Arlington Catholic dropped to 2-8.

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Football, 11/12/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Whittier falls short in Tech semifinals

NEW BEDFORD — A bus ride of more than two hours was the start of a tough evening for the Whittier Tech football team.

The Wildcats fell behind by two touchdowns in the first quarter, and lost to Greater New Bedford 35-8 in the quarterfinals of the Tech School tournament. 

"The kids went out and hung in there after a long, rough ride out there fighting traffic," said Whittier head coach Kevin Bradley. "We played well, and we were in the game. But we didn't capitalize on a few opportunities. I felt like we could have scored one or two more touchdowns in the first half."

Whittier's lone score came in the second quarter. Running back Jyzaiah Ferreira ran in a 4-yard touchdown. Quarterback Cam West then found Cam Richards for the two-point conversion.

Standout running back Julien Acevedo-Torres once again led the Wildcats offense with 98 rushing yards on 12 carries. He also caught four passes for 28 yards. Noah Mercier had a 48-yard grab from West, who ended the game 14-of-19 throwing for 131 yards. 

Ferrera on defense and Niko Burke led the Wildcats defense, while Tom Galvin excelled on special teams. special teams. 

Whittier now moves onto its traditional matchup with rival Greater Lawrence on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving on Whittier Tech's home field (6 p.m.)

"The kids will be pumped for the holiday game," said Bradley. "They've been playing hard all year, so I can't complain. We'll get back to practice and get ready for a good game."
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Football, 11/11/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

McDonald runs for 333 yards, Salem rolls over BG

NASHUA — Spearheaded by an historic performance by senior Aiden McDonald, Salem High used a relentless and brutal ground attack to roll over Bishop Guertin, 61-31, in the opening round of the Division I State Tournament, Saturday night at Stellos Stadium.
McDonald was unstoppable, rushing for 333 yards and six touchdowns on just 17 carries. As a team, the Blue Devils rolled up 559 yards on the ground and more than 600 yards of total offense. Despite this, Head Coach Steve Abraham doesn't think his team has played its best football.
"I don't think so," he said. "We're a good team. Everyone thought the sky was falling when we started out 1-2. But Pinkerton is a good team, BG is a good team. We had a couple little things go wrong. We just had to believe in ourselves and we had to get better."
With the win, 3rd-seeded Salem (7-2) advances to the South/West bracket final to face top-seeded Londonderry, a team that has been a thorn in the Blue Devils' side in the post-season over the past several years. Last month, Salem knocked off Londonderry, 35-21. But Abraham knows how little regular season results mean in the tournament. After all, Bishop Guertin shut down Salem, 17-14, back in September. Saturday night was a completely different story.
The 2nd-seeded Cardinals (7-3) actually drew first blood on a 21-yard touchdown run by quarterback Matt Santosuosso (23 carries, 109 yards, 3 TD) on their opening drive. Santosuosso also ran in the 2-point conversion for a brief 8-0 lead.
Salem's response was as swift as it was devastating.
The Blue Devils reeled off 34 straight points, starting with a 44-yard touchdown run by McDonald to cut the lead to 8-7. Early in the second quarter, McDonald added his second score, from 2 yards out before Thomas Ahlers exploded for a 64-yard scoring run and suddenly, Salem had a 20-8 lead.
On any other night, Ahlers would have been the star of the game, finishing with 148 yards and 2 TDs on 11 carries. But this night belonged to McDonald, who scored on runs of 50 yards and 20 yards to help the Blue Devils build a 41-16 halftime lead.
Salem poured it on in the third quarter, with a 7-yard touchdown run by McDonald, his fifth of the game, to push the lead to 48-16.
Adam Gnanou gave Bishop Guertin fans a reason to cheer, with an electrifying 89-yard return for a touchdown on the ensuing kick. Another conversion rush by Santosuosso cut the Salem lead to 48-24. But that was as close as the Cardinals would get.
David Jacques (10 carries, 66 yards) scored on a 4-yard run before McDonald put the exclamation mark on his night with a school-record tying 99-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. According to school officials, it tied a record for the longest run from scrimmage by a Salem runner last set back in 1973.

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Football, 11/06/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lexington starts strong, downs Haverhill

LEXINGTON — Ahmad Hansberry scored on a touchdown pass and a long pick-6 as host Lexington beat Haverhill, 20-9, Saturday in a non-playoff game. Tristan Naylor caught a TD pass from Adrian Sarrette to lead the Hillies (0-9). The Minutemen improved to 2-6.

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Football, 11/06/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Undermanned Lawrence loses big to powerful Springfield Central

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Central’s 42-8 win over Lawrence High in the state Division 1 playoff opener Friday night was a tale of two halves.
The one that mattered, the first, was all Springfield Central, owning both sides the line of scrimmage en route to five of their six touchdowns while holding the Lancers scoreless.
The one that told us about Lawrence High’s program, according to Coach Rhandy Audate, the second half, was even-Steven with each team scoring eight points.
In the end, missing three two-way players – lineman Brandon Lavasta, running back Janiel Herrera and maybe its most explosive player Jayzius Perez to injuries – it was too many key bodies.
“We knew it was David versus Goliath. We knew this was going to be tough for us, as good and as complete of a team that Springfield Central is,” said Audate. “But if we took care of business during the regular season, maybe we get a better seed and don’t play a team as good as this. 
“The key for me was competing for the entire game. I know the score doesn’t look great, but we competed until the end. That’s Lawrence High football.”
Offensively Lawrence tried to run the ball in the first half. It couldn’t (10 rushes, 21 yards).
Defensively wasn’t much better as the one of the state’s high-powered offenses, led by all-state junior quarterback William Watson (13-for-21, 189 yards, 2 TDs, one 55-yard rushing TD) and Boston College-bound wideout Joseph Griffin (3 catches, 42 yards) were too tough to cover.
In fact, Springfield Central had four other receivers with at least two catches and 20 yards. And, oh yeah, they ran the ball pretty well, too, with 192 yards on only 18 carries.
But Lawrence aided the victors' cause. The Lancers committed 16 penalties, 11 in the first half.
Lawrence, though, earned some big-time kudos to open the second half after not showing anything in the first 24 minutes.
The Lancers went 12 plays and ate up 8:36 of clock on their first drive, which was keyed by three, crunching runs by senior Estarling Morales (27, 10 and 8 yards).
The drive ended with receiver Joenel Figueroa basically stealing the ball from the cornerback in the end zone for a 16-yard hookup.
“I was not happy after the first half and said I was going to give it my all in the second half,” said Morales, who also had some of the biggest hits at linebacker, too. 
“We don’t give up,” said Morales. “That’s big with Coach, playing the entire game. We did.”
Lawrence’s record drops under .500 for the first time this year, now 4-5. They will await word from the MIAA on their next opponent in the consolation round while the Golden Eagles will play Xaverian in the quarterfinals.
“We hope to have another game or two before Thanksgiving against Central Catholic,” said Audate. “If they give us a game, we will be ready. We will treat it like a playoff game. We can’t and don’t take games off. We have to get some guys back healthy and we can still do some damage.”
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Football, 11/06/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Upset-minded Knights can't hold on

NATICK — Senior Colby LeBlanc threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for a third, as 7th-seeded Natick High rallied in the fourth quarter for a 31-21 win over 10th-seeded North Andover Friday night in the Round of 16 in the Division 2 State Tournament.
The Scarlet Knights (now 3-6), winners of two straight coming into the tournament, overcame a pair of costly turnovers and the loss of starting running back Jack Ferullo to injury in the first half, to lead 14-10 after three quarters.
But the Red Hawks (8-1) wore down the North Andover defense and scored on all three of their fourth-quarter possessions.
North Andover quarterback Jack O'Connell had a strong game, completing 21 of 29 passes for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In the second quarter, the tide began to turn. The Knights had a back-breaking fumble on the Natick 1 and an interception led to a Natick field goal on the final play of the first half.
North Andover coach John Dubzinski said, "I thought the turning point was that fumble down at the 1-yard line. That was big."
North Andover was able to retake the lead, 14-10, late in the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by O'Connell. The run capped a nine-play, 64-yard yard scoring drive, the Scarlet Knights' fifth drive of eight plays or more in the game.
But the lead was short-lived. It took LeBlanc just three pass plays to move his team 72 yards, the last 49 nine coming on a sensational pass play to Jayson Little (5 catches, 136 yards, 2 TDs). LeBlanc hit the senior captain in-stride on a fly pattern down the right sideline to give the Red Hawks the lead, 17-14.
It was the start of what would be a wild fourth quarter.
With Ferullo sidelined, Dubzinski turned to sophomore Zach Wolinski to take over as the lead back. Wolinski responded with 60 yards on 12 carries.
"He had never played there before but he was willing to step up and he ran well," said Dubzinski.
With Wolinski carrying the load, North Andover drove downfield mid-way through the final quarter and looked ready to re-take the lead. But on fourth and inches from the Natick 38, the Knights were stopped for a 2-yard loss.
"When it came down to it, they made the big plays and we didn't," said Dubzinski. 
A 41-yard run by Nizayah Montas (7 carries, 82 yards) set up an 8-yard touchdown run by LeBlanc and Natick seemed to be in command, 24-14, with just 3:37 left to play.
O'Connell and the Scarlet Knights had plenty of fight left in them, though, putting together a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Using just 1:26 off the clock, O'Connell completed 8 of 10 passes and capped the drive with a 4-yard scoring strike to D'Andre King to cut the lead to 24-21.
With 2:02 remaining, North Andover attempted an onside kick, but it failed to go the required 10 yards and Natick took over. A 36-yard touchdown run by Montas put an exclamation point on the win.
Before wearing down in the fourth quarter, the North Andover defense played an excellent game, holding the high-powered Natick offense in check. The Scarlet Hawks wouldn't get their first 1st down until their third possession.
In the meantime, North Andover grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, on an 8-yard touchdown pass from O'Connell Brendan Regan, who worked his way open on the back line of the end zone.
Natick tied the game early in the second quarter on a 37-yard touchdown pass from LeBlanc to Little.
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Football, 11/05/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central too strong for Weymouth


LAWRENCE — Matthias Latham doesn't mind flying under the radar.

The junior running back has not put up huge numbers for the Central Catholic football team (8-1), but there is no questioning his value as he proved again Friday night in the opening round of the MIAA playoffs.

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Football, 11/05/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

DOM-INANT: Pallaria (5 TDs), Owls roll into semifinals

PLAISTOW — Dom Pallaria put on a show with 12 carries for 141 yards and 5 TDs as Timberlane (now 10-0) hammered Gilford-Belmont 42-6 Friday in the Division 2 quarterfinals. Coach Kevin Fitzgerald said of the 6-0, 180-pound Pallaria: "I'm happy for him. He's a senior in a home playoff game. It's very important for him. He's an outstanding leader and led by example." Pallaria took care of the offense (with help from Dan Post 86 yards, 1 TD) and Bryce Parker took care of the defense. The senior tackle was in the B-G backfield all night with 9 tackles, 3 sacks and a blocked punt. Fitzpatrick said, "Bryce's a high motor kid. He's quick and strong and tough to block." Linebacker Braden Perras contributed an interception against the 5-4 visitors. The Owls will now host St. Thomas Aquinas (Saturday, 1 p.m.) in the semifinals. STA is 8-2 including its quarterfinal 21-0 win over Hanover. The bad news is it lost it's season-opener to the Owls 43-0.

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Football, 11/05/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Vasquez TD pass as time expires gives Greater Lawrence win over Saugus

As time expired in the game, Greater Lawrence's Manny Vasquez hit Justin Ortega for a 15-yard touchdown pass. The Reggies then went for the two-point conversion to decide the game, and Augustine Raina plowed in to give Greater Lawrence a 15-14 win over Saugus.

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Football, 11/05/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Whittier rallies past Georgetown

HAVERHILL — For just over six minutes, Thursday looked as if it was turning into a nightmare for Whittier Tech.

The Wildcats saw Georgetown QB Anthony Plumb complete his first eight passes, one for a touchdown, and run for another score to give the Royals a quick 16-point lead.

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Football, 11/04/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Brooks forfeits to Lawrence Academy

Brooks fell to 0-7 as it forfeited it's Friday afternoon game against Lawrence Academy (now 7-1). The Boston Herald reported Brooks forfeited due to "injury and illness."

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Football, 11/04/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pelham zooms to quick romp


 TILTON, N.H. — Undefeated Pelham wasted no time in putting away winless Winnisquam Saturday.

The Pythons (8-0) scored 21 points in the first quarter and was ahead 47-0 at halftime when the officials called the game because of a shortage of Winnisquam players.

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Football, 10/30/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Ahlers, McDonald lead Salem blowout of Merrimack

SALEM — Behind huge performances by dynamic running backs Tommy Ahlers and Aidan McDonald, Salem High entered the postseason with a bang on Friday night.

Ahlers ran for 176 yards on just five carries and McDonald added 125 rushing yards on six carries as the Blue Devils rolled past Merrimack 54-14 on Friday night in the regular season finale for both teams.

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Football, 10/30/21 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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