Methuen Rangers Football '11

Sat, Oct 15, 2011 07:00 PM @ Methuen
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Final
Haverhill 7 0 6 13
Methuen 0 0 0 0

Hillies break through with first MVC win since '07

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Saturday, October, 15 By Hector Longo

HAVERHILL — The answer, Thanksgiving 2007.

The question, what day no longer represents Haverhill High football futility?

Haverhill swaggered into Nicholson Stadium here and bumped off Methuen, 13-0, for its first Merrimack Valley Conference win in nearly four full calendar years.

The Hillies last toppled Lowell on Nov. 22, 2007, avoiding a winless season. The pall and gloom encompassing that group has given way to promise and euphoria, with thoughts of titles even creeping into the picture.

"I feel like if we're clicking on all cylinders, there's not a team in this league that can beat us," said QB Tommy Morgan, just minutes after breaking Methuen's back with a brilliant 42-yard TD bomb to co-captain Nick Defusco. "We just have to keep this momentum going."

In a battle of 2-3 teams looking to make that first positive step in the Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2 chase, it was the Hillies that clicked where it counted.

"Today was unbelievable, but I could feel it," said offensive cornerstone Chance Brady, who lugged the rock 38 times for 184 yards and a TD in the win. "Before the game it was kind of flat. Once we got on the field, something came over all of us, and this is what it led to."

At times, Brady ran as if he wasn't ever going down. But the junior might never have gotten going had it not been for Morgan, who singed the Rangers just enough through the air on a first-quarter TD drive to make the hosts think twice about an all-out assault at the line of scrimmage.

 "Teams are keying on Chance, so it's time for me and the receivers to step up and start making some plays," said Morgan.

Morgan went 5 of 8 for 51 yards on the 85-yard march that end with Brady plowing through from the two, making it 7-0 on the final play of the first quarter.

That's where things stayed, thanks to some spirited defense from the Hillies.

"It started up from where we got some good push from Dave Burrows, Tom Mahan, Sean Cronin, and Anthony Morris," said coach Tim O'Connor. "From there, the rest of the guys just did their jobs. The linebackers filled, and the secondary covered. But we won this one up front."

Haverhill held after a turnover on downs at its own 16. A second red zone stand was all that Brady, Morgan and the offense needed.

First, Morgan delivered the strike to Defusco, with 6:57 left in the third, pushing it to 13-0 and leaving the ball in Brady's hands.

He closed the deal like a Wall Street lawyer, moving the chains and milking clock.

In all, Hillies ran 66 plays to Methuen's 43, a margin that was 38-14 in the second half.

Connor Tufts paved the way with a dozen tackles, while Blaine Joia and Taylor Sullivan killed Methuen drives with interceptions, allowing the bull dozer Brady extra chances to soften up the Rangers.

Eric Lacroix was immense for Methuen, keeping his team in it with 19 courageous carries for 93 yards.

He and promising sophomore Austin George-Williams enjoyed regular collisions with Brady in the running game as well as the Rangers played game defense from the first snap to the last.


Game Statistics:

First Quarter

Chance Brady 2 run (Taylor Sullivan kick) :00

                                                                       Third Quarter

Nick Defusco 42 pass from Tommy Morgan (kick blocked) 6:57



RUSHING: H — Chance Brady 38-184, Connor Tufts 3-10, Blaine Joia 1-(-8), Anthony Morris 1-3, Tommy Morgan 1-(-1); M — Eric Lacroix 19-93, Austin George-Williams 5-15, Luis Perez 1-1

PASSING:  H — Morgan 9-22-0, 106; M — Lacroix 6-17-2, 131; George-Williams 0-1-0

RECEIVING:  H — Nick Defusco 4-77, Jeremy Martinez 2-2, Joia 1-7, Brady 2-20; M — Corey Shepherd 2-27, George-Williams 2-59,Colin Langford 1-13, Perez 1-32

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