Chelmsford Lions Football '07

Sat, Nov 03, 2007 07:30 PM @ Central Catholic
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Chelmsford 0 6 6 0 12
Central Catholic 0 0 0 0 0
Chelmsford rolled over Central Catholic, 12-0. » Deborah Hammond, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Chelmsford sloshes past Central

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LAWRENCE | On a fourth-quarter, fourth-and-eight, Mike Leavitt took a Shain Jowett dumpoff, danced past one tackler, banged off two more, finally got corralled by three Chelmsford defenders and managed to drag the pile forward toward the first-down marker.

Only to come up two feet short.

Talk about a metaphor for this 4-5 Central Catholic football season.

The Raiders gallantly fought a tropical storm and Merrimack Valley Conference-leading Chelmsford for every inch of soaked FieldTurf at Veterans Memorial Stadium here last night, only to fall, 12-0, to the now 8-1 Lions.

"They're a good football team, and our kids really played physical," said Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos. "We've had a weird year. The injury thing hurt us early in the development of this team. We're a lot younger team than people realize, too. Being 4-5, there's just a little gap between us and the teams above."

That "little gap" last night came to life in just three giant plays.

The Lions made them all: r Tim Rich hit Mike Murphy on a 19-yard first-half TD, the only downfield completion by either QB in the gale winds.

r With Central driving, first-and-10 on the Chelmsford 14, a pair of Lions hauled down Jowett for a huge 21-yard sack to kill that drive. The Raiders were forced to settle for a 32-yard field-goal attempt that was yanked wide.

r And finally, Nic Emanouil broke things open, returning the second-half kickoff 90 yards to make it 12-0.

"The kickoff in the second half killed us," said Adamopoulos. "We had the wind in that quarter. You want to do something in that quarter, and they run the thing back. Funny, it's been the best season we've had for kick coverage in a long, long time, but that one hurt."

Offensively, the teams played just about even, with Chelmsford outgaining the Raiders, 158-91, but the Lions helped the Central cause with seven penalties for 76 yards. Leavitt basically was the Raider offense, bulling for 76 yards on 19 rushes despite the Lions littering the box with 9 and 10 defenders.

Defensively, juniors Matt Lafrance (9 tackles) and John DiBitetto (11 tackles) were all over the field.

"Lafrance has been a great surprise on defense," said Adamopoulos. "He was a backup linebacker last year and made the move to defensive tackle nicely. DiBitetto has just led us all year. He's been awesome.

Central now goes to Methuen Friday night before closing out the year on Thanksgiving at home against Andover.

Chelmsford, now 6-0 in the league, can lock up the MVC title all by itself with wins over Dracut and Billerica.

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