Londonderry Lancers Football '16

Fri, Sep 23, 2016 07:00 PM @ Londonderry
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Pinkerton 0 14 7 0 21
Londonderry 7 0 7 0 14

Buccieri, Pinkerton tough out Mack Plaque win for 19th straight win over Lancers

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Friday, September, 23 By David Willis
Staff writer

LONDONDERRY – With his game MVP trophy in one arm and the massive Mack Plaque trophy, which seemed about half the size of his 5-foot-5 frame in the other, Pinkerton star Nico Buccieri's spirits couldn't be dampened by the pouring rain or cold mud that covered his body.

It was the Astros' 19th straight win in the series. 

“It's always amazing to get a big rivalry victory,” said the senior tri-captain. “We wanted this one bad. We tightened up on defense, and we made it 16 wins in a row in this great rivalry game.”

Pinkerton was limited to just 41 yards of total offense in the second half, but a gritty defense turned Londonderry away without points on three drives inside the 30-yard line in the fourth quarter as the Astros toughed out a 21-14 victory over the Lancers in the annual Mack Plaque meeting on Friday.

“It was a good, tough win,” said Pinkerton coach Brian O'Reilly. “Nico played a very good game. It was tough conditions but we finished the job.”

Buccieri earned the game's MVP honors – receiving a trophy that resembled the Heisman Trophy – after running for 193 yards and all three Astros touchdowns.

But it was the defense, also led by Buccieri, that finished off the victory in the fourth quarter.

After Londonderry cut the lead to one score on a touchdown pass from Jake Stevens to Adam Wilkinson, the Lancers executed a perfect onside kick that was recovered by kicker Pat Zepf.

Londonderry then drove to the Pinkerton 11-yard line, before pressure from Astro defensive lineman Austin Fields (12 tackles) forced an incomplete pass on fourth down.

Pinkerton then went three-and-out, and back came the Lancers, driving again to the Astro 11-yard line. But this time it was Buccieri (10 tackles) who stuffed a run up the middle on fourth-and-1 for a second straight turnover on downs.

After forcing one more punt, Londonderry took the ball to the Pinkerton 24-yard line. But on fourth down a heave into the end zone was knocked down by Adam Morin to clinch the win.

“We knew we needed to play tough defense,” said Buccieri. “It's tough to be in the red zone so often. But we were ready.”

It was a relief for O'Reilly, who had seen Londonderry take an early lead on a 10-play drive that covered 62 yards and ended with a Stevens touchdown pass to Peter Navarro.

“That drive is what we have seen the last two weeks (losses),” said O'Reilly. “But after that we played much better.”

Buccieri turned the momentum in the second. He opened with a 23-yard touchdown, then on the first play of the next drive broke a 78-yard score. He later added a, 11-yard score.

The Astros (2-2), having snapped a two-game losing streak, host Bedford (3-0) next Friday in a rematch of the 2014 Division 1 state title game.

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

L — Peter Navarro 19 pass from Jake Stevens (Pat Zepf kick), 1:31

Second Quarter

P — Nico Buccieri 23 run (Andrew Lufkin kick), 9:23

P —  Buccieri 78 run (Lufkin kick), 4:20

Third Quarter

P — Buccieri 11 run (Lufkin kick), 8:22

L — Adam Wilkinson 20 pass from Stevens (Zepf kick), 1:48



RUSHING: P (26-219) — Nico Buccieri 19-193, Ty Hicks 4-16, Aiden Goujon 3-10; L (38-171) — Jake Stevens 19-79, Conor Dubois 1-3, Eric Doran 9-51, Peter Navarro 1-2, Ben Johnson 7-37, Jake Holland 1-(-1)

PASSING: P — Gojon 0-2-0; L — Stevens 12-22-0, 114

RECEIVING: P — Navarro 4-46, Adam Wikinson 2-30, Lenny Santuosso 1-16, Doran 2-12, Johson 1-0, Jack Connors 1-8, Connor Dubois 1-2

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