Methuen Rangers Football '18

Fri, Nov 02, 2018 07:00 PM @ Methuen
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Lexington 0 3 7 6 16
Methuen 7 0 7 7 21

Methuen beats Lexington

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METHUEN, Mass. - With under two minutes remaining in Methuen's home battle with Lexington football, the Rangers' defense faced a decisive 4th-and-10 with the Minutemen standing at the Methuen 27-yard line. The Lexington defense had come up with the game's first turnover - a Ben Burnham interception with just under 4 minutes to play - and now the Minutemen offense looked to take the late lead in a game in which they had trailed nearly the whole time. Instead, Methuen's defense held firm, forcing two straight incompletions to deliver the Rangers the win, 21-16.

"We tried to go man-to-man a lot on the perimeter," said Methuen head coach Tom Ryan of his defense. "We needed to get pressure, which we did at the end...it was a grinding defensive game all night."

While the Rangers' defense played the heroes at the end of the night, most of the contest was dominated by both squad's quarterbacks - specifically Methuen's Connor Bryant. The junior spearheaded the host's attack with 105 rushing yards and 179 yards via the pass; he threw for a touchdown and ran the decisive score in.

Bryant again recorded a big play for the Rangers, this time uncorking a deep throw. After Lexington scored to take their first and only lead in the final minute of the third quarter, Bryant needed just one play in the quarter's dying seconds to recapture the advantage. The junior found classmate Kareem Coleman with a 73-yard strike down the middle of the field to put the Rangers back on top with seven seconds remaining before the final frame.

"He's becoming better and better; it's more of a matter about consistency with him," Ryan said of his junior signal caller. "Every time he seems to make the big mistake, he atones for it by making the big play. That's kind of been the year he's had."

On the other side of the ball, Lexington's Mason Hatfield controlled things under center for the Minutemen. Like Bryant, he combined both his legs and his arm to drive the offense. Like Bryant, he responded with a nearly full-field score after an opposing touchdown, connecting with Mesay Merseth on a 72-yard catch-and-run just 25 seconds after the Rangers had taken an 11-point lead in the fourth. Like Bryant, Hatfield also led his team in rushing yards (79).

However, the Methuen defense made one big stop to keep Hatfield from driving his team into the end zone for the game-winner. Facing 1st-and-10 within their own 30, the Rangers never allowed the Minutemen to cross the 25 on their final drive. Instead, Methuen's defense pressured the quarterback, forcing Hatfield to sail a throw high over his receiver on fourth down, sealing the win for the home team.

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

M — Caleb Adames 7 pass from Connor Bryant (Justin Sheehan kick), 3:46

Second Quarter

L — Duncan Hewitt 33 field goal, 3:26

Third Quarter

L — Mason Hatfield 3 run (Duncan Hewitt kick), :29

M — Kareem Coleman 73 pass from Connor Bryant (Justin Sheehan kick): :07

Fourth Quarter

M — Connor Bryant 5 run (Justin Sheehan kick), 6:26

L — Mesay Merseth 72 pass from Mason Hatfield (pass failed), 6:01



RUSHING: METHUEN (29-129): Connor Bryant 21-105, Zack Bergeron 6-29, Kareem Coleman 2-(-5); LEXINGTON (29-84): Mason Hatfield 25-79, Matthew Pusatere 4-5

PASSING: M — Connor Bryant 10-18-1, 179; L — Mason Hatfield 11-24-0, 172

RECEIVING: M — Kareem Coleman 2-78, Isaac Frederique 3-48, Wesley Correa 3-35, Caleb Adames 2-18; L — Mesay Merseth 2-77, Duncan Hewitt 3-68, Joe Tribbles 4-31, Matt Pusatere 2-(-4)

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