Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cohasset Exerts Revenge, Claims Div. 7 South Crown

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Abington, Mass. -- Cohasset would not have had it any other way.

Gray Thomas rushed for 160 yards while Matt Lund totaled touchdowns as fifth seeded Cohasset defeated No. 2 Abington, 33-16, to win the Div. 7 South Title at Frolio Middle School.

Last season, Cohasset (8-2) had its postseason dreams dashed by Abington with the Green Wave defeating the Skippers in week seven to keep them on the outside looking in. Thursday night, however, painted a whole different picture with the Skippers amassing 421 yards of offense and intercepting Abington quarterback Christian Labossier three times.

"I am just really proud of this team," said Cliff Ward who had two of those interceptions. "Coming back and beating them on the field that knocked us off last year is an incredible feeling. I can't wait to win these next two games."

The Skippers, who last won a sectional crown during their Super Bowl run in 2014, won all three of their south sectional postseason games on the road. They avenged the two regular season losses they incurred by beating both Mashpee and the aforementioned Green Wave in the postseason.

"When we won in 2014 we had to do the exact same thing and be road warriors," said Cohasset coach Pete Afansiw. "From a coaching perspective we knew what it took, but these guys really have each other backs. They never quit."

The key swing in the game came late in the first half. 

Trailing 8-0, Cohasset looked to be on the verge of tying the score as Ward reeled in a 25 yard pass from Lund. Lund's proceeding two-point pass attempt, however, was intercepted by Will Klein and returned 99 yards to extend the Green Wave's lead to 10-6.

It was a moment that seem destined to change the whole complexion of Thursday night's sectional final. 

Cohasset's defense, however, came through with a key three and out giving the Skippers offense time to grab the lead before the half. With 1:50 remaining, Thomas ran two draws for a combined 48 yards setting up a 15 yard touchdown pass from Lund (7-of-13, 239 total yards, 3 TDs) to Mark Mahoney (5 receptions, 110 yards, 2 touchdowns) to give Cohasset a 13-10 lead at the break.

"The kids really stuck to the game plan," said Afanasiw. "From the first half on we really felt that we were being more physical than Abington, which isn't easy to do."

The second half belonged to the Skippers.

A Pran Teelugchsingh fumble recovery set Cohasset up in Abington territory and three plays later, Jake Sullivan rumbled in from two yards out to increase Cohasset's lead to 20-10.

The Green Wave responded in impressive fashion on its next possession. Highlighted by a Colin Leary 49-yard reception, Abington went on a 10-play, 70-yard drive that was capped off by a Gabe Spry three yard run to pull the Green Wave within 20-16.

The Skippers offense, however, was relentless.

On its first play from scrimmage on its next drive, Thomas ran 61 yards down the right sideline before bowling his way in from three yards out to put Cohasset back up 27-16.

Ward put the nail in the coffin to open the fourth quarter intercepting Labossier for the second time on the night. Moments later, Lund hit Mahoney on a slant route and the senior wideout stiff armed his way into the end zone to give Cohasset a commanding 33-16 lead.

Mahoney's touchdown reception capped off a run of four touchdowns and 243 yards over 14 plays for Cohasset.

"Playing away from home is always fun," said Ward. "We use that as fuel. I am very proud of this team. I would like a few more games on the road. One at Gillette sounds good to me."

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