Pentucket Sachems Football '06

Sat, Oct 07, 2006 01:30 PM @ Pentucket
Team Final
Lawrence 6
Pentucket 20
Lawrence's Alex Andrews is tackled by Pentucket's Chris Troy, Stephen Hayden and other defenders during their game at Pentucket on Saturday.  » Jim Vaiknoras, Staff Photographer

Lawrence mistakes fuel Sachems win

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Friday, August, 24 By Hector Longo
Staff writer

WEST NEWBURY | Staring at the Cape Ann League large school gauntlet over the second half of the season and still stinging from last week's nauseating loss to rival Newburyport, the Pentucket Regional football team needed a positive afternoon entertaining Lawrence.

And yesterday, the Lancers, fresh off their first CAL win (a 42-21 thumping of Lynnfield), handed one to the Sachems, turning the ball over seven times and committing three costly second-half personal fouls to allow Pentucket a comfortable, 20-6, victory.

"Seven turnovers," lamented Lancer coach Mike Yameen. "We just didn't play well on offense. We did a nice job and played really hard defensively, but if you keep giving them opportunities, they're going to cash in."

For all its trouble, misplaying punts and stumbling to only 43 yards of offense in the first half, the Lancers found themselves down a score and knocking on the door at 14-6 in the fourth quarter.

But instead of Lawrence punching through, it was Sachem Nate Bunnell, blowing through a hole off tackle right and galloping 74 yards for the decisive score.

"That was the dagger," said Yameen of Bunnell's longest run of the afternoon. "Our kids were just on the field defensively for so long. Something like that was going to happen."

Bunnell, who finished with 138 yards on 17 carries, represented all but 17 yards of the Pentucket offense. Anchored by widebody Jeffrey Rodriguez (12 tackles) on the nose and linebackers Cristian Guzman, Wilson Ventura and Jessie Fabian (30 tackles combined) plugging holes everywhere, running room was hard to come by on the Lancers' defense.

Down 20-6, the Lancers needed to air it out, a fact that fit firmly into the Sachems' defensive plans for the day. "We put in a whole new defense, the nickel defense, to be ready for them," said secondary man Justin Kuchar, who had one of the five Pentucket interceptions in the win. "They have big, talented receivers, so you have to try and meet the ball high and then start ripping at it after the catch."

Liam Crawford, Jordan Silva, Bunnell and middle linebacker Bobby Haskell all had interceptions in the win. For a team that's learning to win, this one was a nice one to get.

"(Lawrence) doing a good job, they've got numbers and some athletes, so that's a pretty good team out there," said Sachem coach Steve Hayden.

"Turnovers were the big key. I just wish we could have taken a little more advantage of them. Our kids are battling, and that's the first step. We're playing hard."

Haskell, at linebacker, and Brian Crowley stuffed the run nicely for the Sachems, who held strong despite the pass-oriented scheme.

The first and second Pentucket scores came directly off Lancer errors.

A fumbled punt snap put Pentucket's offense on the field for the first time a the Lawrence 30.

Seven runs later, it was Bunnell banging in from the 4. Quarterback Crawford proved clutch on fourth-and-one from the Lancer 4, firing a dart to Jeff Puopolo in the third quarter to push it to 14-0 late in the third quarter.

Crawford's interception and return set up the march from the Lancer 48, and 28 of the yards ahead came via Lawrence penalty.

Yameen asked his club to learn from this loss. "It was a different feeling for them (coming off a win), and this was a rough week of school," said Yameen, referring to the police presence and personal searches at Lawrence this week. " Now we have to learn how to take that next step."

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