Saturday, October 27, 2018

MIAA Football: Top Performances From The Weekend

Franklin Quarterback Nick Gordon turned in another big-time performance as the Panthers cruised past Brockton in the Div. 1 South Quarter Finals (Photo Courtesy: Ryan Lanigan/

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Aidan Sullivan was quick to embrace the spotlight.

Already on top 27-20 with less than four minutes left, No. 6 Dennis-Yarmouth looked to be on the verge of a backbreaking score setting up at the Scituate two-yard line. The Sailors defense, however, stood tall coming through with four consecutive goal line stops to turn the ball over on downs and give their senior quarterback a chance to go on a drive for the ages.

Sullivan seized the moment, leading Scituate on a 90-yard drive capped off by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jack Ruble with 20 seconds to play to pull the Sailors within a point. Scituate elected to go for two, but a low snap put hopes of a comeback on the brink.

"Before the drive, coach (Herb Devine) said we were going to go for the win once we scored," said Sullivan. "Once I hit Ruble in the end zone, I knew we would go for it. It was a low snap so I couldn't fake the jet but I got a great block and was able to get in."

Sullivan regained possession of the ball, picked up a pair of blocks, and sprinted to the pylon for a successful two-point conversion as No. 3 Scituate pulled off a come-from-behind, 28-27 victory over Dennis-Yarmouth to advance to the Div. 5 South Sectional Semi-Finals.

"I think I was saying 'wow' to myself for about three hours after that," said Sullivan.

Just a couple exits up route three, meanwhile, Hingham quarterback Owen O'Brien led a pair of fourth quarter touchdown drives as the third-seeded Harbormen held off Bishop Feehan, 39-32 in Div. 3 South Quarter Final play.

The Shamrocks trailed 26-9 late in the second quarter, but rallied to take a 32-26 lead with 5:59 left on Tim D'ambrosia's fourth touchdown run of the night. O'Brien came right back as he scrambled in from seven yards out to even the game up at 32.

Moments later, a Christian Julian interception gave the Harbormen the ball back and O'Brien awarded his defense with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Cole Finney to put Hingham on top 39-32 with 1:01 to play.

Bishop Feehan had a chance to tie the score as they marched down to the Hingahm 23-yard line, but Grady Harrington sealed the win with an interception in the end zone.

In other MIAA Eastern. Mass playoff action, Dracut became the third No. 8 seed to win a tournament game as they knocked off Div. 4 North favorite Marblehead, 28-14.

Mansfield received a scare from Bridgewater-Raynham, facing a 7-6 deficit entering the fourth quarter, but a Vinnie Holmes touchdown run pushed them ahead for good in what ended up being a 21-7 Hornets victory.

North Andover and Lincoln-Sudbury both held serve in Div. 2 North behind their star senior quarterbacks in Jake McElroy and Braden O'Connell. Acton-Boxboro overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to knockoff Methuen, 22-21, in Div. 1 North action.

The most surprising result may have come from Central Mass. where in the final week of the regular season, Lou Vigeant's one yard touchdown run with 10 seconds left pushed Marlborough to a 29-24 upset win over a red-hot St. John's Shrewsbury team.

Here are our top performances from the weekend.

Aidan Sullivan, Sr., QB, Scituate

The aforementioned Sullivan was terrific throughout Scituate's come-from-behind win over Dennis-Yarmouth. Sullivan finished with 187 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, including stewarding the winning 90-yard drive in the game's waning moments, as the Sailors defeated the defending Div. 5 Super Bowl champion Dolphins, 28-27.

Lou Vigeant, Sr., RB, Marlborough

Vigeant rushed for the game-winning score from a yard out with 10 seconds to play as part of a 132-yard, three touchdown performance as Marlborough came back to stun St. John's Shrewsbury, 29-24.

Owen O'Brien, Sr., QB, Hingham

With Hingham on the verge of being upset by Bishop Feehan, O'Brien came through with some fourth quarter heroics. The senior, who has been filling in for the injured Jack Johnson, totaled two touchdowns in the final 2:17 highlighted by a game-winning touchdown pass to Cole Finney as the Harbormen survived, 39-32.

Ryan Flaherty, Jr., QB, Dedham

You can't be much better than Flaherty was on Friday night. Dedham's junior slinger finished the night 20-for-21 for 271 yards and three touchdowns as the Marauders cruised to a 34-14 win over Apponequet in Div. 6 South Quarter Final play.

Matt McCarthy, Sr., RB, Danvers

McCarthy found the end zone four times as Danvers defeated Belmont in a high-scoring affair, 50-35, in the Div. 3 North Quarter Final.

Nick Gordon, Sr., QB, Franklin

Gordon finished 11-of-16 passing for 172 yards and two touchdowns while adding a third score on the ground as Franklin dominated Brockton, 26-3, in the opening round of the Div. 1 South Tournament.

James Dillon, Sr., RB, Lincoln-Sudbury

After being on upset alert early on, Dillon proved to be the deciding factor as he rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns to lift No. 2 Lincoln-Sudbury over No. 7 Masconomet, 42-28, in the opening round of the Div. 2 North Tournament.

Kyle Fitzgerald, Sr., RB/LB, Canton

Fitzgerald did it all in Canton's opening round win in the Div. 5 South Tournament rushing for two touchdowns and finishing with 10 tackles as the Bulldogs took down Hanover, 27-13.

Zach Sanderson, Sr., RB, Northeast Regional

The mud proved to be no match for Sanderson on Saturday morning as he finished with 157 yards and three touchdowns to lift Northeast Regional over Ipswich, 30-8.

Max Ferrucci, Sr., WR, Natick

Ferrucci caught five passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 2 Natick past upset-minded New Bedford, 21-12, in the first round of the Div. 2 South Tournament.

Barrett Pratt, Jr., QB, Catholic Memorial

Pratt picked a good time to turn his finest performance of the season. The Knights quarterback finished 18-of-23 passing for 246 yards and two touchdowns to lead Catholic Memorial past Attleboro, 42-19 in the Div. 1 South tournament.

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