Whittier Wildcats Football '11

Sat, Nov 12, 2011 10:30 AM @ Whittier
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Lynn Tech 0 8 0 0 8
Whittier 6 8 8 8 30

McGrath's career day powers Whittier

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Saturday, November, 12 By Jeff Hamrick

HAVERHILL – Andrew McGrath hadn’t taken many handoffs the first nine games of the season, but it became obvious yesterday morning that wasn’t because he didn’t know what to do with the ball.

The Whittier senior strapped the Wildcats onto his back yesterday, scoring the team’s final three touchdowns and recovering a fumble in a 30-8 victory over Commonwealth Conference rival Lynn Tech.

Entering the game, McGrath had only 34 carries and ranked third on the team with 270 yards on the ground. Against the Tigers, he had only one attempt for two yards the first 20 minutes during which Lynn built an 8-6 lead. However, the senior took over from there, gaining 144 yards on his final 10 carries.

“It was probably one of the biggest games of my career,” said McGrath, who is the team’s leading reciever with 221 yards and two scores on 12 catches. “I was a little nervous. I was really looking forward to this game. I knew we needed this. The offensive line came out big today, and I appreciate it. I’m just happy we came out with a win.”

McGrath owned the drive that gave Whittier (6-4 overall, 1-2 conference) a 14-8 advantage. Taking over at the Wildcat 26, McGrath burst 50 yards up the middle, and had five of Whittier’s six rushes, including the 8-yard touchdown and ensuing two-point conversion with 29 seconds left in the opening half.

It was a typical possession for Whittier, which took a 6-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Shane Surette that capped a 12-play, 56-yard drive on the game’s opening possession. Whittier kept to the ground on all 42 plays from scrimmage, finishing with 275 yards.

“If it was up to me, I’d like to throw the ball 100 times a game being a former quarterback, ” Whittier coach Kevin Bradley said. “But we just stuck it right at them. The holes were open. The key was we didn’t want (the Tigers) to get on offense. They have too much speed.

“We were ready to call some passes … but we were getting five yards a carry. So I just said, ‘Control the clock.’ Everyone had a chance to carry the ball, and our goal is (the opponent) has to find out who has the ball in our offense because there’s a lot of faking.”

McGrath added scoring runs of 23 yards in the third quarter and 40 in the final period to wrap up the day’s scoring.

“He just kept working,” Bradley said. “He runs hard and has speed. He’s a tough kid and doesn’t go down easy. But the holes that sprung him were unbelievable.”

Whittier also came up big on defense as senior Mike Melling made two interceptions in his first start at defensive back, including a leaping pick at the Wildcat 11 early in the second quarter. The Wildcats also had three sacks and McGrath scooped up a fumble caused by a massive hit from Mike Ortiz.

The convincing win came one week after the Wildcats fell out of the title hunt in a tough loss at Shawsheen. Whittier finishes its season on Thanksgiving at Greater Lawrence with a chance to keep the Reggies from winning that same Commonwealth title.

“You have to be mentally prepared,” McGrath said. “We were all down, getting kicked out (of the league title race). We just came back to practice, and got after it. (Yesterday) showed the outcome of how we could play.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

W — Shane Surette 1 run (run failed), 4:20

Second Quarter

LT— Kennedy Gomes 69 run (Pedro Martinez runb), 6:28

W — Andrew McGrath 8 run (McGrath run), 0:29

Third Quarter

W — McGrath 23 run (Surette run), 3:20

Fourth Quarter

W — McGrath 40 run (Frankie Boland pass from Surette), 3:33


RUSHING: LT (32-160) — Gomes 18-111, Martinez 8-33, Leshawn Snow 2-10, Charles Park 1-4, Billy Colon 3-2; W (42-275) — McGrath 11-146, Victor Munoz 11-53, Scott Bonneau 6-43, Surette 10-29, Jaylin Deveau 3-4, Joseph Murach 1-0

PASSING: LT (6-13-2, 98 yards) — Gomes 5-11-1, 82, Colon 1-2-1, 16; W — Surette 0-0

RECEIVING: LT — Luis Taveras 1-36, Jason Grant 1-21, Martinez 1-16, Gomes 1-16, Eric Ward 1-9, Roberto Brown 1-0

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