Salem (MA) Witches Football '07

Fri, Nov 02, 2007 07:00 PM @ Salem (MA)
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Lynn Classical 0 8 6 0 14
Salem (MA) 0 0 0 7 7
Linsey Tait, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Salem High football team's rally falls short

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Friday, November, 02 By Mike Grenier
Staff writer

SALEM | The Salem High football team tried its best to pull off a miracle comeback against Lynn Classical at chilly Bertram Field last night. But if it was that easy, it wouldn't be called a miracle.

After showing practically no offensive life for three quarters and falling behind by two touchdowns, Salem rallied behind running back Melikke Van Alstyne and quarterback Colby Boulay. However, Lynn Classical's Bryndyn Primus made a clutch interception with Salem driving in the final minute, preserving the Rams 14-7 Northeastern Conference win.

"We're thinking at the end, 'Oh, no, here we go again,'" said Lynn Classical coach Matt Durgin, referring to his team's heartbreaking 26-22 loss to unbeaten Gloucester. "But Primus made a big play to finish this one. "We really had to earn it," added Durgin. "We gutted it out."

For the longest time, it appeared that Classical would coast to a shutout win. Cameron Smith's 4-yard touchdown run in the second period and Alex Watler's one-yard plunge in the third quarter had the Rams sitting pretty, 14-0.

At that juncture, Salem had nothing going. Plagued by poor field position throughout the game, including two possessions that started inside their own five and another that began at the 13-yard line, the Witches had just 53 yards of total offense through the first three quarters.

"We had to be more reserved in our play calling," said Salem (5-4) coach Scott Connolly. "We couldn't do some of the thing we'd normally try to do. But we lost to a great football team. That's the bottom line."

Just when it looked like Salem would go down meekly, the Witches snapped out of it with the help of a Lynn Classical 15-yard penalty that brought the ball out to the Salem 35-yard line. Salem then fashioned an outstanding drive, capped by Van Alstyne's 25-yard run that cut it to 14-6. Dan Reddy kicked the extra point and it was 14-7 with 8:10 remaining.

Relying on a running game that was led by Quivari Jackson (12 carries, 62 yards), Keshawn Avery (10 carries, 48 yards) and Cam Smith (12 carries, 43 yards), Lynn Classical chewed up more than six minutes, leaving Salem less than two minutes when it got the ball back.

Boulay (9 for 15 passing for 101 yards), who was on fire in the second half, nearly bailed Salem out. He had a huge 28-yard completion to Dan Reddy to keep the drive going and Salem was in Rams territory for only the second time all night when Primus stepped in front of a Witches receiver to douse the threat.

"That kid has a cannon for an arm," Durgin said of Boulay, who was 8 for 11 in the second half. "He's also a good runner, so he was tough to defend."

Other than yielding the touchdown run, the Lynn Classical defense kept Van Alstyne (17 carries, 51 yards) quiet. Chris Maxson paced Salem's receivers with four catches for 30 yards.

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