Lowell Red Raiders Football '14

Huge comeback falls short, Lowell beats Lawrence in OT

LAWRENCE — After five straight Lowell losses, two of which he missed with an injury, standout senior Shy Cullen was not about to be denied.

The Syracuse-bound back staked the Red Raiders to a 14-7 halftime lead and then, after a gallant Lawrence comeback tied the game in regulation, got the key conversion run that provided a 29-27 overtime victory.

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Football, 09/20/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Hillies denied by inches

LOWELL — Already committed to Syracuse University, Lowell High's Shy Cullen has exhibited the potential to go on to greatness.
He'll never make a bigger play then his one completed pass yesterday here at Cawley Stadium.
Trapped at its own one-inch-line and facing a 3rd-and-long with about a minute to play, Cullen took a handoff, faked forward then jumped and lobbed a strike to Nicolau Coury for 19 yards and the upset-clinching first down as the Red Raiders held of Haverhill, 8-6, on the snow.
"Just a great play," said Hillies' coach Tim O'Connor. "I thought we had tied it, though, at 8-8. I thought we had gotten the safety on (both first and second downs)."
Cullen's connection halted a wild fourth-quarter sequence, which saw the Hillies march 69 yards — all on the ground — only to be stopped by a fumbled snap on fourth-and-goal from the Red Raiders' 1.
"Mistakes," lamented Hillies coach Tim O'Connor. "The lesson I hope we learn there is that you need to finish."
The sour ending spoiled a pretty spirited effort by a Hillies team that had been clobbered by the injury bug.
One captain (Samie al-Ziab) remains on crutches awaiting knee surgery. Another, Pat Yale, were a walking cast as he nurses the torn ligaments in his ankle.
Yet, the Hillies fought. And rallied from an 8-0 hole with a huge second half.
"I thought we played really well today,"  said O'Connor. "We fought the elements, we fought tough calls at times. "It's a testament to the progam. A lot of kids underneath stepped up. We had a lot of young kids playing today. We bring eight back on offense, seven back on defense next year. So we'll see how that goes."
Down 8-0 at halftime, the Hillies held Lowell to only 21 second-half yards (19 coming on the Cullen dagger).
Offensively, the going was tough, but Haverhill got into it the hard way, sending both Ian Kessel and Pedro Santiago right up in the firing line between the tackles. Every yard gained in the snow had to be earned.
"They both ran hard and did the best they could under the conditions," said O'Connor.
Kessel, who led all rushers with 118 yards on 24 tries, cut the lead to 8-6 midway through the third on a four-yard TD burst. His earlier 29-yard dash off-tackle set up the score. Kessel closed a fine junior campaign with 852 yards and eight TD's on 148 carries.
But the conversion was stuffed, leaving it at 8-6.
Neither team managed much of anything until Haverhill took over at its own 30 with under six minutes to go.
The march was impressive, and the Hillies had their shots.
But on third-and-goal Kessel pushed the pile for two yards, tumbling just short of the line, to set up the fruitless fourth down miscue.
Defensively, the Hillies got just work inside especially from linebacker Phil Panici, who wore al-Ziab's No. 39 jersey to honor his fallen comrade.
Tackles Abraham Kann and Elias Gaetano found the snow to their liking as they devoured the Lowell inside game with penetration. Captain Matt Haskell anchored a Hillies offensive line that owned the trenches when it had to.
"This one hurts, but we'll bounce back, we'll  re-evaluate things and go from there," said O'Connor. "I'm happy with the growth of the program, and  disappointed with how it finished (with two losses). We're 7-4, MVC small champs, and it's something to build off of. Hopefully, we come back hungry."
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Football, 11/27/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Methuen upsets Lowell

METHUEN - Kendrick Denose completed 13 of 19 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 70 yards and two scores to lead Methuen to a 28-7 upset victory over Lowell. Connor Donovan caught seven balls for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Denose connected with Donovan for a 12-yard TD pass in the first quarter as the Rangers took a 7-0 lead. The two connected for another first-quarter touchdown on a six-yard pass to make it 13-0. The kick failed. Donovan scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and then connected with Denrose on the two-point conversion to put Methuen ahead 21-7 at halftime. Denose capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 35 yard run. Jake Amodio carried 10 times for 85 yards and Nick Comerford added 7 runs for 33 yards and was 2 for 3 on point after tries. Amodio also had one run for 24 yards and John Abraham caught four passes for 39 yards.


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Football, 10/31/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Chen rushes for 284 yards, Andover locks up playoff berth

ANDOVER — One year ago, Andover found itself on the outside looking in on the new Massachusetts football playoff system, relegated to the losers bracket after a 4-3 start.

A season later, the Golden Warriors weren’t going to be left out again.

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Football, 10/24/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central rips through Lowell

LOWELL — The Friday night showdown expected here at Cawley Stadium between No. 4 Lowell and No. 5 Central Catholic never materialized.
The reigning Division 1 Super Bowl champions never let it happen.
With an offense that played angry and a defense looking to make amends for its last two outings (31.0 points a game allowed), Central simply steamrolled the previously 4-0 Red Raiders from the opening snap right through garbage time, 44-7.
"They came in 4-0, but we know we've played great competition so far," said Raider lineman Pat Dziedzic. "We knew that, so we just took it to them."
Dziedzic, who had two big sacks, and the Raiders allowed Lowell a total of 10 yards of offense on 36 plays. Lowell's lone first down of the night came with 1:10 left in the second quarter, and that was it.
"We're in the driver's seat now with the league and that feels good," added Dziedzic.
Offensively, Central called its shots. On the ground, the Raiders chewed up 222 yards on 32 dashes. In the air, Mike Milano had an off-the-charts night, hitting 16-of-18 for 192 yards and three TDs. In all, the savvy senior connected with seven different targets.
The hosts hardly knew what hit them, and when Syracuse-bound Shy Cullen left the game with some sort of foot midway through the second with Central already up, 18-0,  you might as well have stopped the fight.
"The bye week was huge for us," said senior Mike Balsamo, who had a big night running for two TDs and catching another on a "Cannoli route" hookup from Milano — the quarterback, not the city in Italy.
"Andover and St. John's Prep were hard, hard games for us. We had some very good, very key practices where we worked on some of those mistakes we had made."
For Central, now 4-1 overall, that's three up and three down in the MVC large race with only (0-5) Billerica and a road trip to Chelmsford standing between the Raiders and a third straight conference title.
About the only gripe a Central fan could have had is about the struggles in the point-after kicking game. The Raiders missed conversion kicks or runs on its first five TDs, including one dribbler through legs on the offensive line. It took senior Nick Worden to knock in Central's first PAT in the third quarter. In the fourth, sophomore John Mooney made his try as well.
Lowell's only points came on a late, 95-yard Egan Ojunga kick return against the Central sophomore cover team.

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Football, 10/10/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars