St. Mary's Lynn Spartans Football '18

Final minute TD pass sinks top-seeded Reggies

ANDOVER – Three times Greater Lawrence responded to an eight-point deficit to tie St. Mary’s.
But the fourth-seeded Spartans took one last lead, and this time the visitors didn’t leave the top-seeded Reggies enough time to answer in Friday evening’s Division 7 North semifinals,
Jalen Echevarria (3 TDs) hauled in a 31-yard pass from Derek O’Leary with 20 seconds remaining to hand St. Mary’s a 30-24 victory and a spot in the Division 7 North title game.
“Our guys came back real good,” Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis said. “I can’t say enough about them. It stinks that we made some mistakes. They made some mistakes, but they played better at the end. They made more plays than we did.”
The Reggies (6-3) sputtered in a first half that saw St. Mary’s grab an 8-0 lead when Brendan Laundry returned one of the Spartans’ three first-half interceptions. After Laundry’s 35-yard TD return, Echevarria ran for the two-point conversion – one of six the teams combined for.
After gaining just 36 yards on their first 22 plays, Greater Lawrence tied the score early in the third on a 51-yard wide-receiver screen from Jose Caceres to Donnie Croteau. Caceres ran for the conversion, which he did on all three Reggie scores.
Echevarria hauled in a 12-yard pass from O’Leary before a George Freeman conversion run to give the Spartans from Lynn (6-3) a 16-8 lead with 45 seconds left in the third.
Greater Lawrence responded with a 10-play, 74-yard drive that Croteau capped with a 25-yard scoring toss from Caceres. 
Already playing without standout defensive back Stevie Polanco, the Reggies also lost starting center/defensive end Pablo Arias with a sprained ankle early in the second half.
“The (amount) of injuries, that kind of killed us,” Sarkis said. “But that’s part of the game. We made some adjustments (at halftime) on the outside guys, and we starting cutting inside more.”
Echevarria, a basketball star playing his first year of football, answered on St. Mary’s first play of its ensuing possession with a 70-yard run for a 24-16 lead with 5:53 remaining.
But the Reggies once again clawed back when Shamil Diaz finished off a 54-yard drive with a 14-yard run. Caceres’ conversion tied the game at 24 with 2:45 left.
Both teams had another possession, but Greater Lawrence’s ended with Laundry’s second interception at the Spartan 27 and 41 seconds remaining. Three plays later Echevarria hauled in a 31-yard toss from O’Leary in the end zone for the game winner.

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Football, 11/02/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars