Saturday, October 28, 2017

Abington Rolls Seekonk in First Round Matchup

By Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports)

ABINGTON -- The Abington High football team shut down their opponent’s heavy passing game and established their own running game out of the Wing-T.

That was enough for the No. 3 Green Wave to roll over the No. 6 Seekonk Warriors in a 43-14 win at home in the Division 7 South Quarterfinal.

"It was truly a tremendous job by our guys," Green Wave head coach Jim Kelliher said. "We prepped all week, but that was our second group against our first group. I thought our coaches did a great job preparing them. That might have been the best pass defense we've had since I've been here. It was awesome."

The Green Wave (5-3) held Seekonk (4-4) quarterback Terry Smith to 13-for-37 in the air over the course of the contest thanks to strong play from the secondary. Kyle Rogers and Seamus Schmidt had interceptions in the win.

Seekonk (4-4) started the game with an onside kick that Spencer Dowty recovered for them, giving them possession around midfield to start the game. However, this did not do much for them as they turned the ball over after throwing four straight incomplete passes.

The Green Wave got onto the scoreboard with with 3:18 left in the first quarter--and it came thanks to a gift given to them by the Warriors. On 4th-and-22 at their own 9-yard line, the Warriors attempted a fake punt run, but were only able to gain one yard. This game the Green Wave the ball in the red zone. They capitalized on the situation;  Mark Kilmain (13 rushes, 59 yards) ran in a 5-yard touchdown on the third play of the drive to put his team up 6-0.

On the Green Wave's next drive, they doubled their lead. Justin Keleher (11 rushes, 88 yards) scored a 43-yard touchdown on the final play of the first quarter and quarterback Jack Maguire (5-for-9 passing, 95 yards) hit Steve Glavin with a complete pass for a successful 2-point conversion. This put the Green Wave up 14-0.

Kyle Rogers had his first interception of the game with 3:18 remaining in the first half. This gave the Green Wave the ball around midfield and set up another scoring drive. With 43.6 seconds remaining in the first half, Keleher finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run; Drew Landers hit the PAT kick, giving his team a 21-0 lead going into halftime.

On the opening kick of the second half, the Warriors were able to bypass playing offense and still managed to score. That is because Cameron Sears used his burning speed to score a 62-yard touchdown to start the second half. Smith ran in the 2-point conversion to make it a 21-8 game.

The Green Wave were quick to respond to their foe’s score. They found an uncovered gap on the right side of the field they capitalized on several plays during the drive with their opponent overloading the left side. Keleher finished the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run and a successful 2-point conversion to put his team up, 29-8.

"Every time we run a down, we want to get positive yardage," Kelliher said. "We did that and that kept the pressure on them which is what you need tournament time."

Once again, the Warriors were able to find the end zone, but the Green Wave took little time to counter. A 40-yard pass from Smith to Sears put the Warriors in the red zone and Smith then hit Ryan Riordan with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 3:21 left in the third quarter, making it 29-14 in Abington’s favor.

About two minutes later, however, Kilmain ran for a 13-yard touchdown, giving Abington a 35-14 lead.

With 7:59 remaining in the game, Ethan Curtin added to the Green Wave’s score total. He ran in a 13-yard touchdown and Dylan Magaru ran in the 2-point conversion to put his team up 43-14.

On the first play of their next drive, Seekonk fumbled and Gabe Spry recovered it for the Green Wave. Following the recovery, the Green Wave fielded their second offensive unit for the rest of the game.

With 2:33 remaining, Seamus Schmidt intercepted the Warriors in the end zone, preventing any more scoring in the game.

The Green Wave move on to face No. 2 Nantucket (7-1) on the road next week.

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