Greater Lawrence Reggies Football '20-'21

Wed, Apr 21, 2021 04:00 PM @ Greater Lawrence
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Whittier 0 8 0 0 8
Greater Lawrence 0 16 8 0 24

Reggies knock off Whittier

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Wednesday, April, 21 By Jeff Hamrick

ANDOVER – The Fall 2 football season ended for a couple of area teams Wednesday afternoon with a blast of light and a loud bang.

It was rain at the end of the third quarter that first forced a game delay with Greater Lawrence leading visiting Whittier 24-8, but it was the ensuing lightning and thunder that forced officials to call the match complete before the fourth quarter began.

“This was a combination of unusual stuff happening to us,” Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis said. “This rainstorm is just a way to remind us that this is an odd year. We thank God we were able to play this great game with the great players we have in that locker room. Those guys stuck together through this whole craziness, and the way it ended doesn’t surprise me.”

Sarkis’ comrade on the other sideline saw synchronicity to his team’s five-game campaign.

“We started the season in a snowstorm and ended it in a thunderstorm” said Whittier coach Kevin Bradley, whose players were forced to twist some elbows to get school authorities to reconsider not having a football season.

In Wednesday’s finale, it was Bradley’s squad that opened a lead with a power possession that lasted for 10 and a half minutes. In typical Wildcat fashion, Whittier stayed on the ground for all 15 plays and converted a couple fourth downs – one when Greater Lawrence jumped offside.

Quarterback Niko Burke took the honors with the final five yards and a Nolan Mann conversion run provided the Wildcats an 8-point lead.

The Reggies were held to one first down on their opening two possessions, and only one more on their third – but it was a big one as Tiago Fernandes blasted 64 yards on the first snap. Quarterback Regalado Gustavo ran for the conversion and the tie with 4:30 left in the second quarter.

“Offensively, we didn’t take advantage on our first two series, and we have to get better at that,” Sarkis said. “We started to do what we needed to do at the end, and we ended up scoring points. I liked how the offense responded.”

Greater Lawrence (3-2) needed just three plays on its next possession, the final of which began with a Gustavo toss to Alvin Torres in the flat, and the receiver went 56 yards down the sideline for the second touchdown. Fernandes’ conversion provided a 16-8 lead with 36 seconds left in the half.

Late in the third, Whittier stopped the Reggies at their own 20 and appeared to have a safety when Zack Ribeiro blocked a punt out of the end zone. But a Wildcat holding penalty provided renewed life for Greater Lawrence.

“I just can’t believe a holding call on a (loose ball),” Bradley said. “That was the turning point of the game and it came at the worst time. That would have made it 14-10 and they would have had to kick off from their 20.”

Two plays later, Fernandes ripped off a 67-yard run while Gustavo scored the game’s final points with another conversion. That score came 20 seconds before the end of the third quarter – and the end of both game and season.

“We always take a positive from everything in life and that’s what we preach to the kids,” Sarkis said. “So we’re going to look at this as a positive. These young kids, the sophomores and juniors that came out, it’s going to be a quick turnaround for them. In (four) months we’ll be in August, so this will help them.

“And for the seniors, having this time to play was great, so we’re going to look at this as a positive … It’s been a journey with these guys, and I’m proud of every one of them because they’ve turned into great men through football.”

Whittier’s coach felt much the same.

“The kids have had fun,” Bradley said. “They didn’t have a chance to play in the fall, and they would’ve lost a full year of football. Now, they have had practices and games. They have that year back.”

Game Statistics:


Second Quarter

Whittier — Niko Burke 5 run (Nolan Mann run) 4:44

GL — Tiago Fernandes 64 run (Regalado Giustavo run) 4:30

GL — Alvin Torres 56 pass from Gustavo (Fernandes ren) 0:36

Fourth Quarter

GL — Fernandes 67 run (Gustavo run) 0:20



RUSHING: Whittier (33-109) — Burke 14-66, Jyzaiah Ferreira 8-28, Nick Allen 7-18, Bryant Eno 1-2, Mann 3-(-5); GL (16-186) — Fernandes 7-151, Gustavo 7-35, Amauris Gomes 1-5, Anthony Alves 1-(-5)

PASSING: Whittier — none; GL — Gustavo 2-3-0, 51

RECEIVING: GL — Torres 2-51

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