Lions Finish Season With a Fight
Newton South lost their Turkey Day game 21-7 against Lincoln-Sudbury.
Records didn't matter and playoffs didn't matter; it was a Thanksgiving Day game.
"This epitomizes the season," said Newton South coach Ted Dalicandro. "We are fighting in every game then we make mistake here and there. All of a sudden it goes from 7-0 to 21-0."
Newton South would not score until 2:21 was left in the fourth quarter. After dropping the handoff on a draw play, senior captain Jerrett Atkinson picked up the ball and broke down the middle of the field for a 48-yard touchdown.
Despite an onside kick attempt, the Lions did not get the ball back for the rest of the game.
"We were trying to get the ball into Jerrett's hands," said Dalicandro. "He is a senior, so we ran a couple draw plays to him. It makes it a little more respectable, but it also gives us that last chance."
Despite a conference title and a postseason berth in the bag, the Lincoln-Sudbury football team came into Thanksgiving morning ready to defend one last regular-season accomplishment — an undefeated conference record.
With the Warriors up only 7-0 at halftime, it looked as if the Lions had a shot upset the conference winners. However, the Warriors opened the second half by scoring on their first two drives.
"We were not throwing the ball too much at first, but once we started to throw the ball things opened up," said L-S senior Ryan Swoyer. "We scored two touchdowns right in the four hole, which is good. We were pushing the ball all over the place and getting it going in the second half."
L-S's first second-half touchdown came off a 1-yard dive play by sophomore Christopher Giorgio to finish off a 65-yard drive. Giorgio bounced through defenders to rush upright into the end zone at 7:05 in the third quarter.
The score was set up via a 9-yard sweep by Marc Pace, in which the senior dove just short of the pylon.
"We had some nice blocking that allowed me to spring it outside," said Pace. "I was breaking outside and trying to get what I could."
A Giorgio interception off a short, middle cross pass from senior Justin Klumpp to junior Mike Forman set up the Warriors' next scoring drive. The interception placed L-S on the Lions' 26-yard line.
A 14-yard middle screen to Pace and a 10-yard out pass to senior Benjamin Forman helped set up a 2-yard dive by Giorgio to put the Warriors up 21-0 at 3:43 in the third quarter.
"(Both touchdowns) were '34-bellies' up the middle," said Giorgio. "Good blocking helped push it in."
Like the second half, the Warriors also opened up the first half with a score. Starting on the Lions' 26-yard-line, junior quarterback Matt Cahill rushed a combined 20 yards to put the Warrior up 7-0.
The junior bulled his way through tackles to finish a 15-yard sweep for the Warriors first score.
"He made some big passes, including a nice one to Jack (Harris) and a nice one to (Brian) Carroll," said L-S coach Thomas Lopez. "Overall I think he played terrific."
Cahill threw for 130 yards on seven attempts, while Pace combined for 73 yards on ten touches. The junior's longest throw was a 51-yard streak pass to junior Jack Harris.
"Receivers ran great routes and things just opened up today," said Cahill. "We saw them in press coverage and thought that Jack could run over the top. I just tried to put it up there and Jack went up and got it."
The game remained close for the rest of the half. After managing to block a field goal attempt by junior William Twyman, the Lions drove 56 yards to set up a 27-yard field goal. Despite an offside penalty on the first missed attempt, John Jennings missed another field goal attempt from 19 yards.
The Lions dropped to 1-10 while the Warriors improve to 8-3 total. L-S will play Gloucester (10-0) in the playoffs on Tuesday.