Greater Lawrence Reggies Football '14

Sanchez TD finishes secures Whittier win

HAVERHILL — A day that began with Whittier coach Kevin Bradley and his crew clearing white stuff from the field, preparing for a familiar foe, ended with his Wildcats joyously making snow angels at midfield.

Facing Commonwealth Conference rival Greater Lawrence for an unprecedented third time this season, Whittier wrapped up its trifecta of victories by a 14-8 count yesterday before a hearty crowd of a couple hundred. The victory kept alive the Wildcats' slim chances of earning a berth in the state vocational bowl.

"I didn't think it was going to be this heavy," Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis said of the snow accumulation while wearing his trademark short pants. "So we sort of made some adjustments. We knew it was going to come down to execution and ball handling ... we knew the team that would play without mistakes was going to win."

Well, that wasn't quite the case as the Wildcats managed an 8-0 lead at intermission despite four first-half turnovers.

But a dismal Reggie punt fielded by Jesus Sanchez at the GL 29 set up Whittier at the 20 late in the opening quarter. Four plays later, Connor Bradley's 1-yard plunge and conversion pass to Sidney Taylor provided an 8-0 lead with 10:13 left in the second.

At that point, the Wildcats (8-3) had run 15 more plays (18-3) than the Reggies. The touchdown helped atone for Whittier's first possession that lasted 8:21 and traveled 84 yards on 14 plays only to die on downs at the 6.

During the ensuing two quarters, neither team mounted much offense. Whittier did run one play at the GL 20 after stopping the Reggies on downs, but an interception ended the first half.

The Wildcats grabbed a 14-point lead on a drive powered by Sanchez, who took the ball on eight of the 11 plays while rushing for 44 of the 67 yards, including a 3-yard burst with 4:59 remaining. Sanchez, who finished with 97 yards on 23 carries, did much of the damage in Whittier's three victories over Greater Lawrence, rushing for 337 yards and four touchdowns in those games.

"That was a good senior drive," Kevin Bradley said of the game-clinching possession. "It's been nice to have (Sanchez). He's worked and fought hard all year, and there was nothing better than watching him run. We put it on his shoulders and he took it right down."

Whittier's defensive front of starting linemen Jarod Lawther, Ralph Francesconi and nose tackle Robert Burke, stifled the Reggie attack, allowing 141 total yards. Thousand-yard rusher Jeremy Torres was held to 25 yards on seven carries.

"What we do (offensively) we can do in the rain, sun or snow," Bradley said. "We've proven it ... We probably made more changes on defense because we knew (the snow) would eliminate a couple things from (the Reggies). They just did a great job up front and we were able to pursue outside."

After compiling only five first downs the first 43 minutes, Greater Lawrence (7-4) averted the shutout with a furious three-play, 47-yard drive that included a 32-yard Angel Martin-Yoel Batista pass — the team's first play longer than 9 yards — and culminated with Martin's 15-yard scoring run with 35 seconds remaining.

But Taylor recovered the onside attempt, effectively ending the Reggies season.

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Football, 11/27/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Reggies roll in Lowell

 LOWELL — Greater Lawrence didn't have any troule bouncing back from its heartbreaking playoff loss to Whittier Tech just six days earlier.

In fact, the Reggies seemed to get a bounce from their playoff exit as they ripped Lowell Catholic 30-0 to head into Thanksgiving with a 6-3 record and good momentum when it will face Whittier once again.

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Football, 11/14/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Burke, Gramstorff save day

Robert Burke and Robby Gramstorff combined for the tackle on the 2-point conversion with 41 seconds left and Whittier nipped Greater Lawrence 22-20 in the Division 5 North semis.

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Football, 11/12/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Torres powers Reggies upset

It didn't take long for Greater Lawrence to hijack the postseason's first upset.

With Jeremy Torres continuing his late-season rampage, the seventh-seeded Reggies went on the Division 5 playoff road to down second-seeded and previously unbeaten Brighton last night 22-12.

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

Torres powers Reggies into postseason

WAKEFIELD — Jeremy Torres fell a tad short of the mark he’d set for himself. But the senior running back isn’t one to quibble over a measly five yards. Running on the fresh legs a three-week layoff provides, Torres got stronger as the game progressed Saturday to lead Greater Lawrence to a 28-12 victory against Northeast. The No. 7 Reggies (4-2) are expected to play at No. 2 Brighton (7-0) this weekend in the Division 5 North quarterfinals. Torres finished with 230 yards on 22 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns, including the final, clinching score with 10:14 left. “Everyone on the sideline was on me to run harder, run harder,” said Torres. “And the line was perfect. I saw a lot of big holes out there. “My goal was 235 (yards). It was something I wanted to achieve. But I can live with finishing five yards short. As long as we got the W and made the playoffs.” The Reggies’ last game was Oct. 4. The long layoff was due to a bye week and a cancellation of a game due to a whooping cough outbreak at the school. “We had three weeks to prepare for this team,” Torres said. “We wanted to come in here, beat them and make our way to the playoffs. We want to make some noise in the playoffs. Making the playoffs is very important.” Torres, who ran for 200 yards against Manchester Essex in Week 3, ran for his biggest yardage when needed most. “The game plan was just to run the ball and pound it in,” Torres said. “My line was firing off and everything was perfect. We just wanted to keep going.” Both sides of the line enjoyed their best game of the season as the Reggies finished with 322 yards on their 52 carries (6.2 yard average, while Northeast (3-4) was held to 77 on its 32 attempts (2.4 average). Three Reggies toil on both lines: two-way tackle Daniel Hernandez, guard/defensive end Edgardo Garcia and center/tackle Brandon Nichols. “My major fear was playing after having three weeks off,” GL coach Tony Sarkis said. “We had a roller-coaster kind of ride up and down, and then they sealed it in the fourth quarter when they put it together and played well.” Greater Lawrence also got touchdown runs from Angel Martin (19 yards for the game’s first score), and Shane Dunn (a 1-yarder that provided a 22-12 lead). But it was Torres who put the finishing touches on Greater Lawrence’s grand finale. “He’s been up and down (this season),” Sarkis said. “He’s really settled down and playing a (heck) of a game. He’s very athletic and a hard worker. But he’s also starting to be a leader which is the most important thing.”

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Football, 10/25/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Reggies streamroll Greater Lowell

WEST ANDOVER — Senior year has been unkind to Angel Martin. He's been beleaguered, beaten down and benched, and it's only the first week of October.
"You know, the kid never got down, or said anything bad. He helped the other kid," said Greater Lawrence Tech coach Tony Sarkis. "Angel is just an athlete. He played smart, made the right throws. It's a credit to his fortitude. He took advantage of the opportunity presented to him. It's something you love to see."
Yesterday, the Reggies quarterback took his frustrations on rival Greater Lowell Tech, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another in Greater Lawrence's 32-18 win here Saturday morning at Gleason Field.
"It felt good starting today, playing the whole game for once," said Martin. "I don't want my spot taken by a sophomore. I've worked hard for four years. I think I deserve to play."
After losing the job and coming in relieve last week in a tough loss to Whittier Tech, Martin had the ball put in his hands yesterday.
The result a a briliant performance on the ground, mixed with some smart, timely passing.
"I just saw myself in the end zone," said Martin. "I was hungry for the end zone."
Martin ran the keeper 27 times and piled up 194 yards, many after contact and broken tackles.
On longer downs, he burned the Gryphons through the air on 7 of 11 passes for 108 yards. His screen work to Jeremy Torres (4 catches, 70 yards) was back-breaking for Greater Lowell.
"Those screens are something we expect perfection on," said Martin. "It's what we live on. We must work on that every day in practice."
 Torres had a day of his own, too, racing for 103 yards on 16 rushes.
Don't let the Gryphons' 18 points fool you, either. This was a monster day for the Greater Lawrence defense.
You're not supposed to win games when the opposition blocks a punt and takes control at your 1, then a few minutes later scores on a 72-yard kick return.
But the Reggies played mighty tough when they had to, shutting out the visitors in the second half as Ramon Montes, Edgardo Garcia and Eric Rodriguez took turns busting into the Gryphons' backfield and causing all kinds of havoc.
"Statiscically it doesn't happen often," said Sarkis. "Usually when things like that happen, it's going to turn sour on you. But I was very proud of the defense. I was proud of how the whole team came together."
Greater Lawrence, now 3-2, hosts Shawsheen Tech on Friday night for Homecoming.

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Football, 10/04/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Whittier blow out Reggies in rivalry game

HAVERHILL — Whittier Regional ran off four consecutive touchdowns on its first four possessions en route to a 42-16 beating of rival Greater Lawrence Regional yesterday in Haverhill.

On Whittier's run, the Reggies only mustered 50 yards of offense in the first half, trailing 30-0.

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Football, 09/27/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Reggies roll

Greater Lawrence rolled out to a 30-0 halftime lead on its way to a 36-9 victory over Georgetown.


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Football, 09/13/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Reggies go dark in opener

ANDOVER — Greater Lawrence chose the wrong occasion to break out the school's new home football uniform.

"It wasn't the sun, it was the humidity," Reggie coach Tony Sarkis said. "But that's no excuse for mistakes. It is what is is. I mean, how many yards in penalties did we have?"

What Sarkis avoided making alibis for was a 27-6 opening-day defeat to Somerville in a contest the Reggies made enough mistakes to keep their coach busy critiquing film for much longer than he's enjoying the viewing.

Fresh off the rack, the Reggies showed off their almost exclusively black ensemble on what might have been the warmest and muggiest morning of the summer. While the heat was draining, Greater Lawrence's performance was frigid from the outset.

The answer to Sarkis' earlier question was 70 (yards) on nine penalties — six of which came in the first half when GL still had some energy.

On a day when officials were quick to throw flags but agonizingly slow in their deliberations — and often negligent in signaling the call — the participants combined for 21 penalties, resulting in 150 reverse yards. The most damaging infraction occured midway through the second period when Yoel Batista's 75-yard kick-return score was negated by a personal foul — a push in the back 25 yards behind the play.

"Penalties killed us," Sarkis said. "With a team like (Somerville) that can score, we needed offensive rhythm and making sure we got going. And we accomplished none of that today."

Joseph Pagan prevented the shutout with a slick 81-yard return of the second-half kickoff that cut Somerville's lead to eight and could have provided a spark.

Greater Lawrence, which returns nine starters from a 5-6 club, finished with 100 yards rushing, but 31 of them came on three plays. The Reggies averaged a mere 2.3 yards on their other 30 attempts.

The defense also had several breakdowns. In addition to a mass of missed tackles, the Reggies surrendered first downs on each of Somerville's three fourth-down attempts. They also gave up chain movers on third-and-10 and third-and-13 situations. One of the positives was provided by a consistent pass rush led by linebacker Shane Dunn, who assisted on two of Greater Lawrence's three sacks.

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Football, 09/06/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars