Swampscott Big Blue Football '18

Swampscott holds off Reggies

SWAMPSCOTT — Theirs backs weren't quite up against the wall, what with visiting Greater Lawrence still hovering around midfield trailing by a point with 90 seconds left in Saturday's season opener at Blocksidge Field. From the point of view of the Swampscott High defense, though, the game was on the line. It was time to rise — or Reiser — to the occasion. Junior linebacker Nick Reiser broke through the line and rushed Greater Lawrence QB Jose Caceres on fourth down, allowing the short screen pass to be gobbled up senior Jake Bartram's tackle as the Big Blue escaped with a 21-20 victory. "Before that play, as a defense, we looked at each other and said 'this could be the play that decides the game, right here.' The coaches are always putting us in good spots, and thankfully, on that one we executed," said linebacker Dylan January, a junior captain. Greater Lawrence (0-1) got the ball back 90 yards away from the go ahead points with 7:20 to play. What turned out to be their last ditch drive ate up six minutes of time as Caceres converted two fourth downs and another third and long to get over midfield at the Swampscott 45. Reiser, who was responsible for an intentional grounding call earlier in the drive, brought pressure again at the opportune time. "There's a certain look where it's an automatic go for Nick," Swampscott head coach Bob Serino said. "He read it and he made the play." Junior QB Graham Inzana, making his first start for Swamspcott (1-0), threw for 198 yards and two scores. The touchdowns both came in the second quarter as the Big Blue build a 21-6 lead. The first was a 45-yard bubble screen hauled in by Jonathan Oriakhi and the second was a 42-yard catch-and-run across the middle by Andrew Augustin. Though Inzana began the game just 1-for-5 with two interceptions, he wound up completing 13-of-21 and had a stretch in the middle of the game where he went 9-of-11 for 170 of his yards. Oriakhi (4 catches, 61 yards) and Augustin (4 catches, 71 yards) were the big targets with a 44-yard heave to freshman Xaviah Bascon also among the highlights. "Graham went the entire game both ways and that's the first time he's ever done that. Maybe we need to give him a few more sprints do," quipped Serino, who felt some of his offense's struggles in the second half came from using inexperienced substitutes with the aim of keeping the defense fresh. "Basically, we decided we needed to sub on offense and see what we could get away with because we knew we needed the defense at full strength." The Reggies got a score just before halftime with Caceres finding Omar Medina from 7-yards out to make it a one score game at 21-14. Swampscott's defense got a stop to begin the second half, but their offense was plagued by penalties (nine in all) and a couple of miscues. That allowed Greater Lawrence to get the ball back with good field position and Caceres (141 passing yards) took advantage by finding Stephan Polanco for a 28-yard score. Swampscott knocked down the two-point pass to retain the lead, 21-20, with 34 seconds left in the third. "Greater Lawrence was prepared," said Serino, whose team took advantage of turnovers in beating the Reggies 43-0 in 2017. "I told my kids that after year, coach Tony (Sarkis) was going to have them prepared. They punched us in the mouth." Polanco set up the first TD of the game when he intercepted Inzana in the first and returned it to the 10-yard line. Caceres, who also ran for a team-best 57 yards, plunged in from the 1-yard line for a short lived 6-0 lead. Bascon, making his first varsity appearance, saved Swampscott's drive when he shook loose for the 44-yard gain on third and long. He then took a sweep around the end 12-yards for his first varsity score and the first of Thomas Frisolo's three extra points put Swampscott on top for good, 7-6. Though Swampscott allowed 100 yards on the ground, it came on 31 carries at a clip of around three yards per jaunt. With Bartram, January and Oriakhi leading the way, the Big Blue did a fairly good job containing a dangerous Greater Lawrence offense. "The d-line did a really good job with their stunts. They never got caught too far upfield and they didn't allow cut backs, and that was important because their quarterback is a really good runner," Serino said. Isaac Andre ran hard for Swampscott, rushing for 18 yards and running out the clock by converting a third down with under a minute to go. Connor Lynch also hauled in two passes.

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Football, 09/08/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars