LOWELL, Mass. -- In at least one respect, the Eastern Massachusetts Division 3A semifinal between Lynnfield and Amesbury looked a lot like the regular-season meeting between the teams.
Lynnfield running back Kyle McGah scored four touchdowns in Lynnfield's four-point victory earlier this season, and he scored four more to help the Pioneers prevail 35-14 Tuesday night at Cawley Stadium.
McGah finished the game with 165 yards on 21 carries. He gained 148 yards in Lynnfield's 31-27 regular-season victory over Amesbury.
“From the waist down he's built like a running back, and that's good for us,” Lynnfield coach Neil Weidman said. “The kids played well. It might have been the best game we played all year – against a real good opponent too.”
McGah, a junior, scored each of his four touchdowns on the ground. His most important touchdown may have come on Lynnfield's first possession in the third quarter. McGah capped an eight-play, 67-yard drive with a 2-yard run that helped the Pioneers stretch their lead to 21-7.
Lynnfield (9-2) will face Bishop Feehan (9-2) in Saturday's Division 3A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium. Bishop Feehan defeated Dighton-Rehoboth 49-7 in Tuesday's other 3A semifinal.
Amesbury completed its season with a 9-3 record.
“Can't wait to practice [tomorrow],” McGah said. “It gonna be awesome.”
Amesbury was within seven points (14-7) at halftime, but turned the ball over on its first three second-half possessions. The Indians had four turnovers (three interceptions) in the loss.
Amesbury quarterback Matt Talbot entered the game with 25 touchdowns this season – 15 passing, 10 rushing -- but was kept off the scoreboard.
“The defense played fantastic again – against an offense that's put up points against some good teams,” Weidman said. “Going in we knew the key was to keep their offense off the field.”
Amesbury's offense ran 17 plays in the second half. Seven of those 17 plays came on the Indians' final drive, after Lynnfield built a 35-7 lead.
Lynnfield scored on three of the four possessions that immediately followed Amesbury turnovers.
“It's tough to win when you turn the ball over that many times,” Weidman said. “You only get so many possessions, and they're 10-minute quarters.”
Tuesday's game was the first time in the 55-year history of the Lynnfield program that the Pioneers played the same opponent twice in the same season. … Amesbury and Lynnfield have met 41 times. Lynnfield leads the series, which began in 1973, 25-15-1. ... Lynnfield had a 369-187 edge in total offense. Amesbury failed to gain 100 yards in either half.
LYNNFIELD 35, AMESBURY 14
Lynnfield 14 0 7 14
Amesbury 0 7 0 7
L—Kyle McGah 5 run (Alex Roper kick), 3:50.
L—McGah 17 run (Roper kick), 1:19.
A—Benjamin Cullen 2 run (Mackenzie Short kick), 5:00
L—McGah 2 run (Roper kick), 7:08.
L-- Michael Karavetsos 5 run (Roper kick), 9:23.
L-- McGah 1 run (Roper kick), 3:39.
A—Thomas Connors Jr. 3 run (Short kick), 1:10.