Dracut Middies Football '07

Thu, Nov 22, 2007 10:00 AM @ Dracut
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Methuen 0 6 7 0 13
Dracut 0 12 0 6 18
Methuen Vs Dracut Thanksgiving day game at Dracut High School  » Jarrod Thompson, Staff Photographer

Miscues, bad timing doom Methuen upset bid

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Thursday, November, 22 By Ryan Lambert
Staff writer

DRACUT | Methuen had the lead early in the fourth quarter, but, as they did all game long, critical mistakes cost the Rangers dearly.

With the ball at their own 36 and holding a one-point lead, a snap sailed well over the head of punter Justin Marsan. Marsan ran back and picked it up, but was tackled for a loss of 26 yards. Dracut did not waste the first-and-goal opportunity and Matt Grimard ran for a 13-yard score that iced the game and the season, 18-13.

"We've been struggling with snapping on punts all year," said first-year coach Pat Graham, whose team closes the season at 2-9. "In practice, it's perfect, but then you get in the game situation and stress and intensity and pressure are there. It killed us."

Just a few minutes earlier, Methuen had been riding high. With 32 seconds left in the third quarter, the Rangers led 13-12 after a touchdown pass from Matt Bartlett, who was 16-of-31 for 245 yards and ran for a touchdown, to Jeff Toussaint.

If not for two mistakes at the end of the first half, Dracut may not have been in the game at all.

Methuen got the ball back after a Dracut drive sputtered with 1:50 to go. But Tony Catenacci, who was monstrous at middle linebacker (2 interceptions, forced fumble, two fumble recoveries) promptly intercepted a Bartlett pass.

Methuen forced another 3-and-out, but decided to run a play with 19 seconds to go instead of kneeling it and heading into the locker room at 6-6. Catenacci recovered a fumble, then caught a 21-yard TD pass from Grimard with four seconds left.

"Just like every other game turned out this year," sighed Graham. "We made some critical errors at the end of the first half. We fumbled the ball, we threw the ball to the other team, and it's hard to get back from that. Big mistakes, really."

After Dracut's final touchdown, Methuen made one more drive inside the Dracut 30-yard line, but it stalled out at the 22.

After the game, Graham acknowledged that he had to take a hard look at his first campaign with the Rangers.

"Looking at the season, we have to get a lot better and we have to work a lot harder," said Graham, whose club clearly showed progress, including snapping a 33-game conference losing streak.

"Losing, to me, is not acceptable. Everybody's really got to pick it up. Next year, it will be my second year with the guys and hopefully a lot of this stuff will be remembered and we'll get better. It seems like this year we've been fighting a lot of old bad habits."

1 Story Comments

0         jatheproblem03

the touchdown pass wasnt to jeff toussaint. it was to joe acosta.

Report! #1 11/22/2007 11:50 PM