WARRIORS CAME OUT TO PLAY
Lincoln-Sudbury’s success might have come a year earlier than expected.
Pitted against Dual Country League (Large) rival Acton-Boxborough and the Colonials’ stout defense, a young Warrior team claimed their own destiny with a 10-7 win on Senior Night in Sudbury.
L-S has only two seniors starting on either side of the ball (Benjamin Forman, Zach Smerlas, Lawrence Stevenson and Ryan Swoyer) and relies heavily on its strong junior class. The Warriors also received key contributions from a couple of sophomores in the victory over A-B. Running back Christopher Georgio punched in the Warriors’ lone touchdown of the game. In addition, fellow second-year player Brian Carroll pocketed a key fourth-quarter interception along with a strong contribution in the running game with nine carries for 72 yards.
Clearly, L-S has come a long way in a short period of time.
“I never thought we’d be at this point,” Warriors head coach Tom Lopez told Scott Barboza after the game, “especially after that loss to Tewksbury at home.”
From that point on, L-S strung together three straight wins before hitting a couple bumps in the road with losses coming at Concord-Carlisle and at home to Reading. The Warriors righted their ship with league wins over Waltham and Westford to put themselves in position for the big matchup with A-B.
L-S still needs to win one game over Boston Latin or on Thanksgiving against Newton South to sew up the DCL crown.
“We just need to keep things rolling,” senior running back Marc Pace said. “All we need to do is win.”
It’s not that far away (heck, you can ever hear Christmas music round some parts) to start thinking about Thanksgiving. And, if all holds true to form, here’s a smattering of holiday traditions around Eastern Mass. that could have a greater significance this year:
Walpole at Weymouth: It has no bearing on either team’s postseason destiny, but both sides would like nothing better than to disrupt the other side’s potential run at a perfect regular-season slate.
St. John’s Prep at Xaverian: Provided neither team is upset this weekend, Turkey Day is shaping up to be a winner-takes-all contest for the Catholic Conference.
Dracut at Methuen: This one should be entertaining nonetheless and expect there to be plenty of points on the board when all is said and done. In addition, it could decide which team moves on from the Merricmack Valley Small.
Lowell Catholic at Pope John: The winner of the Catholic Central Small clash could be headed to the Division IV-A playoffs.
Abington at Whitman-Hanson: Worth noting that it is the 100th anniversary of the rivalry.
FOR ALL THE MARBLES … ONCE AGAIN
OK, so we thought the battle of Somerset and Martha’s Vineyard was the Eastern Athletic Championship game, but who saw Bishop Feehan getting into the fray this late into the season? Although the Shamrocks are 4-5 overall, they are 3-0 in the EAC, thus staging the league’s second in-season Super Bowl Friday in Somerset.
HOLLISTON CAN'T WAIT FOR ITS REMATCH WITH MEDWAY; DITTO MEDWAY, VICE-VERSA
The Medway Mustangs couldn't help but feel overjoyed when the final seconds ticked off on their 28-18 victory over Norton, to send them to Saturday night's Tri-Valley League championship game. So, too, was Holliston, no doubt licking its chops since the Mustangs shocked the region with a 28-16 upset back in early October.
"This is the matchup they've been waiting for since October 1," Holliston coach Todd Kiley told ESPNBoston's Brendan Hall. "We haven't overlooked anybody by any stretch, but you know it's in the back of their minds, they're kids of course. So we're fired up for that. I think they were secretly rooting for Medway today."
BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM IS STILL THE CLASS OF THE OLD COLONY
The Trojans' gameplan last Friday night against Barnstable was classic Dan Buron. The B-R coach is known for always having great run blocking out of power formations, and in this particular matchup he used it to set up play action waggles that kept the young Red Raiders defenders on their feet. Quarterback Billy Zolga completed his first seven passes, as the Trojans burst out to a 35-6 halftime lead.
"I thought it was very important (to keep them honest with the pass), because they were creeping up on us," Buron said. "I thought there were two passes in particular -- one to Delullis and one to (Branden) Morin where they had it covered and those kids slid, and Billy was poised and threw a nice ball...I thought Billy showed alot of poise tonight."
Zolga, also starting in the secondary that night to combat the Raiders' talented receiving corps, essentially sealed it in the fourth quarter with a pick-six of a D.J. Crook pass over the middle, essentially wrapping up the Old Colony League title for the second straight year. Even if the Trojans were to lose this week to Taunton, they're in based on head-to-head with Barnstable.
In other words, the road to Gillette still goes through Bridgewater.
HEAD OF THE CLASS
VALVOLINE PEAK PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW COKE, ANDOVER
The junior running back was at it once again for the Golden Warriors, carrying the ball 30 times for a season-high 290 yards and all five touchdowns in a 36-20 win over Billerica to improve to 6-3. That gives Coke four 200-yard games on the season, and 1,447 yards in nine games this year, averaging 6.5 yards a carry. In all but two games this season, Coke has run for at least 130 yards.
Ray Holloway, Sr. RB, East Longmeadow - He was a dominant force for the Spartans in their 27-3 win over Springfield Putnam, rushing for 225 yards and three scores to keep EL undefeated.
Isaiah Jones, Sr. RB, Mahar: Needed only six carries to rack up 200 yards and four touchdowns against Turners Falls.
Mike Mercadante, Sr. RB, Minnechaug - Western Mass.'s leading rusher went off for 232 yards and two scores as the Falcons toppled Agawam, 41-20.
T.J. Norris, Jr. RB, Longmeadow: Led the Lancers to a 39-24 win over Westfield with 16 carries for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
Jaron Spear, Sr. TB, Somerset: Not be outdone by Jones, Spear’s line from Friday night: Four touches, 172 yards, four touchdowns.
Mitch Temple, Sr. QB, Weymouth - Threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the Wildcats' 42-0 shutout of Wellesley, which clinched them a berth in the Division 1A playoffs.