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Thu, Nov 24, 2011 10:30 AM @ Central Catholic
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SD Final
Andover 7 13 7 7 6 6 46
Central Catholic 0 7 14 13 6 8 48

Central rallies from 20 down, shocks Andover in 2 OTs

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Thursday, November, 24 By David Willis
Staff writer

LAWRENCE — Still holding the football after making the play of his life — in a game that will live forever in Central Catholic football lore — it took a moment for Matt McDermott to truly realize what had just occurred.

“I went into the end zone and, for a second, reality didn’t sink in,” said McDermott. “I was ready to play another series. Then I saw the whole team running onto the field and realized what had happened. I could not have dreamed of a better moment than this.”

In the second overtime, McDermott threw a 20-yard touchdown pass, then ran for the game-winning two-point conversion to give Central Catholic —which had trailed by 20 in the third quarter — a dramatic 48-46 Thanksgiving Day victory over archrival Andover.

“I have been here for 28 years and we have had big wins and Super Bowl wins,” said Raiders coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “But this win ranks up there with any of them.”

Trailing 46-40 in double-overtime, Andover caught Central in the backfield for a 10-yard loss on first down and forced an incomplete pass on second down.

The Raiders called time, and all eyes fell on 6-foot-3 junior receiver Michael Barry.

“They told me that they were going to throw it up to me no matter what,” said Barry. “I was so nervous, I was shaking. But I knew I had to come down with the ball.”

McDermott threw a perfect fade to Barry, who out-jumped the defensive back and got his feet inbounds in the back of the end zone.

But, there was a flag.

“I saw there was a flag and thought it could be on me,” said Barry. “Then one of my teammates told me the flag was on them, and I just went crazy.”

The touchdown made the score 46-46, and by rule the Raiders had to go for a two-point conversion.

“We had just put in that jumbo formation and it worked well once before,” said McDermott. “I saw the hole and just went over the line. It was just amazing.”

The score sent the Central Catholic sideline into hysterics, all piling on their heroic QB.

“I’ve never had a feeling so great,” said offensive lineman Christian Nunez, holding back tears of joy. “This is the best feeling of my life. The emotions are insane.”

Andy Coke’s second touchdown of the day 3:15 into the third quarter gave the Golden Warriors a 27-7 lead, and even the most optimistic of Raider fans began to hang their heads.

It could have been 30-7 but Mark Zavrl’s 45-yard field goal attempt fell inches short on the final play of the half.

“The team was feeling pretty down,” said Nunez. “But me and a few other seniors said, ‘This is the last half of our lives. We aren’t going out like that.’”

McDermott began the rally with a 33-yard touchdown pass to John Bilsky. Just over a minute later, following an Andover fumble, Barry recovered a Central fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.

The Raiders then picked up another break, as Fortune Kalala caused and recovered another fumble, to set up a 1-yard touchdown run for McDermott.

Central grabbed the lead on another McDermott touchdown, but back came Andover as C.J. Scarpa ran a QB sneak in for a score with 22 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

The teams exchanged scores in the first OT, and Andover grabbed the lead in the second OT on a touchdown pass from Scarpa to Will Heikkinen.

But on the two-point conversion, senior Nick Parent burst through the line to sack Scarpa and keep the score 46-40 and set up McDermott and Barry’s heroics.

McDermott finished his career performance with 236 yards passing and 94 extremely effective ground yards.

“This is, hands down, the best day of my life,” said Nunez, who helped open the hole for the winning score. “It was wild. I....I can’t believe it.”

Central Comeback
Andover’s lead late in third quarter
2: Andover fumbles leading to Central scores
1: Fumble by Andover which the Raiders recovered for a touchdown
20: Yards on Michael Barry’s TD catch to even the score at 46-46. It was on a 3rd-and-20 play
0: Varsity career points by the junior Barry before yesterday’s two TDs.
148: Matt McDermott’s second-half passing yards
6 of 7: McDermott’s second-half completion percentage

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

A — Andy Coke 7 run (Mark Zavrl kick), 7:08

Second Quarter

CC — Devon Lattrell 17 run (Bryce Santos kick), 8:25

A — Freddie Scribner 17 run (pass failed), 5:50

A — Will Clark 38 interception return (Zavrl kick), 5:28

Third Quarter

A — Andy Coke 3 run (Zavrl kick), 7:45

CC — John Bilsky 33 pass from McDermott (Santos kick), 3:34

CC — Michael Barry fumble recovery in end zone (Santos kick), 2:31

Fourth Quarter

CC — McDermott 10 run (kick failed), 9:06

CC — McDermott 1 run (Santos kick), 4:26

A — C.J. Scarpa 1 run (Zavrl kick), 0:22


CC —Ryan Doherty 9 pass from McDermott (pass failed)

A — Will Heikkinen 9 pass from Scarpa (pass failed)

A — Heikkinen 10 pass from Scarpa (run failed)

CC — Barry 20 pass from McDermott (McDermott run)


RUSHING: CC () — Matt McDermott 17-94, Santino Brancato 7-35, Devon Lattrell 5-35, John Bilsky 1-(-1); A — Andy Coke 14-43, Freddie Scribner 6-43, C.J. Scarpa 3-12

PASSING: CC — McDermott 12-18-1, 236; A — Scarpa 18-26-0, 190, Coke 0-1-0

RECEIVING: CC — Michael Barry 3-65, Bilsky 4-52, Lattrell 1-36, Brancato 1-30, Henry Rodriguez 1-22, Anthony Terranova 1-22, Ryan Doherty 1-9; A — Will Heikkinen 10-103, Cam Farnham 1-32, Scribner 2-24, Alex Lahood 2-17, Coke 3-14

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