FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Some late heroics defensively by Brady Schartner gave Nashoba the edge in a closely-contested 20-6 win over SWCL power Shepherd Hill. With the Division 2 Super Bowl victory, unbeaten Nashoba (13-0) extends their state-leading winning streak to 26 games.
Forty seconds after Shepherd Hill senior Kyle Amico picked off a Nashoba pass in the endzone, Schartner came right back with a big play of his own, picking off the Drew Ravenelle pass and returning it for a touchdown. In a game that was back-and-forth the whole way, Schartner’s interception all but sealed the win for Nashoba.
“I saw [the pass] coming, we had good pressure on the quarterback,” Schartner said, “All I had to do was step up and make the catch.”
Longtime Nashoba coach Ken Tucker was very complimentary of his senior defensive back after the game, but acknowledges that this Nashoba team has been a true collaborative effort throughout the year.
“[Brady] has been a great player all year, but I don’t know who our MVP is, he could be one of them. You almost hate to pick an MVP because there are so many guys who contribute that way.”
In order for a team to obtain keep such a long win streak going, Tucker makes sure all players are prepared.
“We’re not a one-star team, we never have been. If somebody’s not completely healthy, somebody else picks it up. That’s what’s great about these guys, they all contribute,” he said.
Schartner, whose father played for Tucker as a high schooler and has known Tucker for years, agreed entirely, praising the Nashoba freshmen for doing their part in making sure the starters were prepared for the Super Bowl.
“We just keep doing what we’re doing, working hard in the offseason. [The freshmen] know they’re not going to play in the playoffs, but they gave us good looks in practice,” Schartner said, “We just want to do it for each other.”
Nashoba didn’t trail an opponent all season, but had a tough challenge on Oct. 26 in Doherty, a game in which they narrowly came away with a victory. Since that close call against Doherty, Nashoba outscored opponents 173-20 in their final five games.
Tucker would like to keep that type of dominant momentum going into next season, emphasizing that Nashoba’s players are motivated by fulfilling the spirit of the program.
“This is great for the tradition of the Nashoba football program, we think it’s important to carry ourselves the right way and uphold the tradition. We made some new ones, we made history this year, we made some dreams come true.”