Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lincoln-Sudbury Delivers Statement in Opening Round Matchup Against Reading

By Brendan C. Hall (@BHallESPN)

SUDBURY – Just how impressive is Lincoln-Sudbury’s run of offensive wizardry this fall?

Head coach Tom Lopez has seen just about everything in his four decades at the helm of the Warriors’ program. Asked for historical perspective on the frequency with which his team has been scoring this season, after the Warriors shut out Reading at Myers Field in an MIAA Division 2 North quarterfinal, he took reporters a long ways down memory lane, all the way back to the days preceding even the Reagan Administration.

“My second year coaching, in 1979, we scored 69 points for the year, OK?” Lopez said with a twang of emphasis. “We have some very talented kids on offense. We have three pretty good running backs and a pretty good offensive line. So I think if we take care of business we can score points. It’s not the coaching. I scored 69 points that year [1979], and we scored 77 last week.”

The Warriors (8-0) came into Friday’s contest having outscored opponents 328-16 – including a 77-38 win over Cambridge last week in their final game of the regular season, to earn themselves the No. 1 seed and home field advantage for the sectional. And in a rematch of last year’s D2 North final on this very same field, a 21-0 Reading win to punch a ticket to Gillette Stadium, L-S exacted revenge with authority.

L-S held the Rockets (3-5) to just 42 yards of offense in the first half, while totaling 253 itself, finishing all four of its drives with a touchdown from a different ball-carrier to take a 28-0 advantage at the break.

James Dillon (8 carries, 100 yards, TD) took the game’s first play from scrimmage 57 yards up the left sideline, and the Warriors never looked back from there, punching it in two plays later behind an eight-yard counter from Kyle Smith. A Reading punt on the ensuing three-and-out pinned the Warriors at their own five, to which they responded by stringing together a mammoth 14-play, 95-yard drive that ate up 7:30 on the clock.

Quarterback Braden O’Connell (8 carries, 105 yards, TD) punched in the drive by calling his own number, a 10-yard keeper to the left pylon out of a formation with trips to the right. The Warriors scored twice more, an 18-yard Dillon counter and a one-yard Andrew Marshall dive, for the 28-0 advantage.

“Braden O’Connell brings a lot to us when he spreads things out,” Lopez said. “Dillon and Marshall are both hard inside runners. Braden sees the field very well, and he had a couple of nice runs. He made chicken salad out of chicken [expletive] a couple of times. I was happy with the way we played.”

L-S scored once more in the third quarter on a 55-yard Dillon interception return. The junior pounced on a knuckling pass in the flat after Jack Garrity tipped a pass from Reading’s quarterback, hitting him on the arm during the follow-through.

The Warriors finished with more rushing yards (267) than Reading had yards of total offense for the game, out-gaining them 274-76 overall.

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

Kyle Smith 8 run (Joey Caloeiro kick) 9:33

Second Quarter

Braden O’Connell 10 run (Caloeiro kick) 10:55

James Dillon 18 run (Caloeiro kick) 4:51

Andrew Marshall 1 run (Caloeiro kick) 1:29

Third Quarter

Dillon 55 interception return (Caloeiro kick) 6:51

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