Haverhill Hillies Football '15

Thu, Nov 26, 2015 10:00 AM @ Haverhill
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Lowell 0 14 7 7 28
Haverhill 7 7 14 7 35

Haverhill, Lowell

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HAVERHILL — On a morning in which J.C. Laguerre ground up 247 yards, piling up 1,164 for his junior season, that final yard loomed largest.
Facing a 3rd-and-1 from the Haverhill High 21 with just over a minute to play,
Laguerre plowed off right tackle for his 40th and final carry on the day, lowering the boom and picking up the first down …
By four inches.
That was enough to kill the remaining clock and reward the Hillies with a hard-fought 35-28 Turkey Day win here at Trinity Stadium before about 700 fans.
“There wasn’t much room, but I knew we needed it,” said Laguerre, who took over as the lead back in Week 8 when Pedro Santiago went down with an injury. “I just dipped my shoulder and drove through.”
With the win, Haverhill put last year’s Thanksgiving disappointment, an 8-6 loss to the Red Raiders, to rest and it locked up the fourth straight winning season for the Hillies at 6-5.
The last time the Hillies had at least four straight winning seasons was 1971-75 (five straight).
Laguerre, the busiest of the Hillies’ heroes on this day with 40 carries, scored on TD runs of 2, 7 and 13 yards for Haverhill, which ate clock all day long, chewing up 375 yards on 62 carries.
“There’s a reason we gave him the football all three times on that last possession. He’s our horse,” said Haverhill coach Tim O’Connor. “He showed his toughness there. What a huge yard that was. He’s really grown up this year, emotionally, physically, just in every way possible.”
Still, with Laguerre’s monster effort, the Hillies had to have more.
Trailing by a TD late, the visitors moved to the Haverhill 9 for a first-and-goal.
QB Matt Smith, who had three more TD passes yesterday to finish with 23 on the season, threw a pair of incompletions.
And on third down, Hillie junior defensive tackle Josh Gendron swatted his pass away at the line.
Facing 4th-and-goal, Lowell (3-7) was sure to go to its top weapon, slot receiver Keith Lynch (3 catches, 108 yards).
Hillie corner Aaron Brooks knew it, too.
“He hurt us all day, and they had to look to him,” said Brooks. “I just followed him on the wheel (route) and made a play.”
That play, very similar to Brooks’ game-saving pick in the playoffs against Reading in the 2014 playoffs, denied Lowell for the last time.
“This one is big, just because it let’s the seniors go out winners on our own field,” said Brooks, one of a slew of talented juniors who carried the Hillies as injuries mounted.
Gendron was another, and if yesterday’s effort is a harbinger of things to come, folks had better prep for No. 67 in the 2016 season.
What didn’t Gendron do yesterday?
He excelled on the offensive line — along with classmates Ryan Panici and Kirk Murray who’ll return next year, plus seniors Nehemiah Jerez and Brandon Ray — that decimated Lowell up front.
Defensively, he came up with six solo tackles, that late swat, a sack, and a forced fumble/recovery in the third quarter.
That play in the third, when he basically snatched a draw handoff right out of Smith’s hands before the running back got there, allowed the Hillies to build a 14-point lead. It was just huge.
“We had been scouting that play all week. I just read it and got there a little too early for them,” said Gendron.
Senior Luc Chretien, battered around with a charley horse and a pair of bloodied elbows, ended his career in style, anchoring the defense with Jason Tufts at linebacker and carrying seven times for 50 yards and a TD.
Junior Jacob Dion had 8 rushes for 62 yards, including his 35-yard score.
“All year long this is the way it has been with younger kids stepping up for us,” said O’Connor. “And now we get to look forward to having everyone back. We finished this year with nine underclassmen on offense and nine underclassmen on the defense."

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

H — J.C. Laguerre 13 run (Cameron Lynch kick) :34.4

Second Quarter

H — Laguerre 7 run (Lynch kick) 7:56

L — Keith Lynch 29 pass from Matt Smith (Evan McHugh kick) 5:30

L — A.J. Pagan 39 pass from Smith (McHugh kick) :48 

Third Quarter

H — Luc Chretien 23 run (Lynch kick) 5:24

H — Jacob Dion 35 run (Lynch kick) 4:39

L — A.J. Proeoung 1 run (McHugh kick) 3:08 

Fourth Quarter

H — Laguerre 2 run (Lynch kick) 4:51

L — Lynch 97 kick return (McHugh kick) 4:38 


RUSHING: Lowell (32-49) — Proeung 11-69; Haverhill (62-375) — J.C. Laguerre 40-247, Jason Tufts 3-15, Luc Chretien 7-50, Jacob Dion 8-62, Broghean McGovern 4-1

PASSING: Lowell, Matt Smith 6-14-1, 149; Haverhill, McGovern 2-6-0, 9 

RECEIVING: Lowell, Lynch 3-108; Haverhill, Chretien 2-9

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