HOLLISTON, Mass. -- With 2.2 seconds left in the first half, Medway quarterback Joe Henry pump-faked and lofted a pass into the hands of receiver Matt Ford for a 19-yard touchdown pass as time expired. Although the Mustangs trailed the Holliston Panthers 10-7 at halftime, the touchdown rallied Medway on its way to hard-fought 28-16 win in Holliston.
The drive started with under a minute to go in the second quarter, and Medway was on its own 23-yard line. Tailback Mike Ozella’s 41-yard run to Holliston’s 19 keyed the possession, but the touchdown pass capped it off as time expired.
"I think that was the key to the game," quarterback Joe Henry said of the touchdown. "No one expected that we would come down and make that play. That changed the whole game right there."
"I think it showed a lot of character that we were down 10 to nothing," said Medway coach Dave McSweeney. "We didn’t panic and we made plays when we had to. Michael [Ozella] broke a nice run off that set up the last second pass so we kind of lucked out there, but I’ll take it anyway we can get it."
Henry had a slow start to the game, but finished strong. On the night, he completed 5 of 16 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
On a fourth and 19 with under two minutes to play, Medway led 21-16 and Holliston needed a defensive stop. It was then that Henry hit Ford with another touchdown pass, to take away any chance Holliston had at a comeback.
Heavy rain plagued the early goings of the game, and both teams struggled to find their rhythm offensively.
"It affected us," Holliston head coach Todd Kiley about the rain. "But both teams have to play under it. It benefited them more tonight, but they just played better than us."
However, Holliston quarterback Sean Mayo had a solid first half. He went into the locker room at the break completing 8 of 12 passes for 82 yards, and also had four rushes for 24 yards and a touchdown. But he began the second half on a bad stint, completing one of five passes with two interceptions.
A raucous crowd at Kamitian field created an intense atmosphere. Mustang fans attempted to get retribution for last season’s matchup, when the red-clad Holliston fans came out in droves and filled up a good chunk of Medway’s home stands.
That resulted in large contingents from both schools coming to Holliston early to secure their seats. Fans from both sides were painted with their school colors and offered chants back and forth throughout the night.
Medway's double-headed running attack of Ozella and junior Greg Amato took the clock down significantly in the second half. Amato had a stellar game, carrying the ball 12 times for 108 yards and a touchdown, and also intercepted Mayo on defense.
"It was a couple big plays that killed us obviously," Kiley said. "Then they chewed the clock up and did a nice job there in the late third early fourth."
And in the end, it was the Medway's Ozella that quieted the home crowd. He ran for 123 yards on 23 carries, but was especially dependable to kill the clock in the fourth quarter.
MEDWAY 28, NO. 16 HOLLISTON 16
MED (3-1) 0 7 7 14 --- 28
HOL (3-1) 7 3 0 7 --- 16
H - Sean Mayo 11 run (Dan Barone kick)
H - Barone 26 field goal
M - Matt Ford 19 catch from Joe Henry (Joe Davenport kick)
M - Greg Amato 70 run (Davenport kick)
M - Henry 12 run (Davenport kick)
H - Mayo 1 run (Conversion failed)
M - Ford 34 catch from Henry (Davenport kick)