Peabody Tanners Football '06

Fri, Oct 20, 2006 07:00 PM @ Peabody
Team Final
Cambridge Rindge & Latin 8
Peabody 0

Peabody High School football is blanked by Cambridge

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Wednesday, August, 29 By Bill Kipouras
Staff writer

PEABODY | Paul Uva said he was "heartbroken for the kids" who had put much of their own hearts into this game.

His Peabody High football team is still be winless after an 8-0 overtime loss to first place Cambridge last night at swampy Lee Field | but their spirit was hardly shattered. Uva, the Peabody head coach, marked his 46th birthday Thursday. The team had gotten wind of the milestone and gave him the old bucket of water dunking after practice.

"They soaked me pretty good," he said, "but there was no talk of giving me a victory as a present ... there was none that stuff," Uva said.

After a pause, Uva said he felt he got a great gift from his team in this mud-spattered battle, the first Peabody overtime test since a big win over Brockton here in 1983. "They played hard (again) and never quit. I really do feel crushed for them," the coach said.

Peabody (0-6) twice had great opportunities in the fourth quarter of regulation. Early on, a personal foul on Cambridge (6-1) put the Tanners first-and-10 at the visitors' 29-yard line, but they turned it over at the 26 after a couple of short runs and a pair of Tom Ciulla passes that went incomplete.

The Tanners' Kevin Bettencourt recovered a Falcons' fumble, resulting from a high snap at the Cambridge 29-yard line. But Peabody again failed to capitalize and wound up punting from its 40.

"I would have loved to try a field goal," Mike Vinagro, who was one of Peabody's top players, said. "I was hitting from 40 in the warmups."

The oddity is that Cambridge (4-0 and atop the Greater Boston League) chose the end of the field because it was facing the wind, and thus would have perhaps nullified a Vinagro field goal in OT.

"We didn't want to get beaten on a field goal," Falcons' coach Paul Gonnella said.

A spunky Peabody defense offset an offense that had a hard time moving the ball because of the thick mud did the job on the first two plays in OT, when Cambridge had the first series from the 10.

Peabody looked like it was sitting pretty when Cambridge got no yards on first down and was whistled for a five-yard penalty. But 2nd-and-15 posed no problem for Queen, who busted off right guard, shook off two Peabody tacklers, made a shake-and-bake move to the left and found the corner of the end zone. Ray Doucette (5-for-21 passing) made it 8-0 on a wide open PAT pass to Vini Daley.

Peabody's Ciulla, a sophomore, picked up two and four yards on Peabody's first two possessions, threw an incompletion, then on fourth down dropped back deep and made a flip pass to Scott Diefenbach, who was stopped at the 11.

"We're all upset," Peabody's Eddie Leonard said, "but we still gave it everything we had."

Although the slippery field may have hurt Cambridge more, Peabody lost what was probably a sure touchdown when A.J. Peach got five yards beyond the Falcons' secondary and slipped and fell on Diefenbach's pass attempt, which was on target.

"Cambridge overlooked us. Everybody does," Vinagro said. "We would have loved to win this game. I think we're overdue.

"Somebody is going to pay for the last five weeks. We're going to go nuts when we do it. It's going to happen." The Tanners visit likewise winless Medford next week.

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