Lincoln-Sudbury (6-1, 4-0 Dual County League) came into CCHS on Friday night looking to extend their winning ways and gain revenge for C-C’s win against the Warriors last year, and L-S wasted little time in getting rolling in this contest.
After a CCHS “three and out” on their first possession, Warriors’ punt returner Charlie Barringer returned the C-C punt 75 yards for the opening score of the game. C-C’s second drive stalled, but a long punt by senior quarterback/defensive back Ryan Fivek was downed by junior running back Connor Sones at the Warrior two-yard line. But as has been the trend in recent weeks, the Pats defense allowed a long touchdown drive on the opening drive of the night for the opponent’s offense (the Patriots have allowed a touchdown on their opponents’ last five opening drives of games).
Pinned deep in their own end, the Warriors had a nine play, 98-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown and, for the second week in a row, the Pats found themselves down 14-0 in the opening quarter.
As was the case at Westford in the prior game, the Patriots fought back in the second quarter behind a balanced attack and some timely defense. The second quarter opened with C-C on the move. After a Fivek pass to junior wide receiver/defensive back Will Hoover and runs by Fivek and junior wide receiver/defensive back Matt Carleton moved the ball to the Warrior 43, Fivek found Carleton open on a deep post route and the long touchdown pass put the Pats on the board at 14-6. L-S responded with another long kickoff return. This time a 50-yarder with a 15-yard facemask penalty added on.
The Warriors were in business with the ball at the C-C 25 with a great opportunity to extend their lead. But the C-C defense came up with big stops as junior running back/linebacker Ryan DeMayo and sophomore linebacker Eric Nick teamed up for a key sack on a timely blitz. DeMayo again pressured the L-S quarterback on 4th down and the Patriots offense took over with the momentum now going C-C’s way.
The Pats offense took advantage with an efficient drive deep into Warriors territory, including a 30-yard catch and run by Hoover. However, with over a minute left in the half, the Pats drive was in trouble after a nine-yard loss had C-C facing a 4th and goal from the L-S 11. In a key play of the game, Carleton made a spectacular catch of a Fivek toss (Fivek was a perfect six of six for 119 yards and two TD passes in the second quarter) and the L-S lead was cut to 14-12, which was how the two teams went into the locker rooms at the half.
The Warriors opened the second half with a resounding answer to the C-C rally. L-S only needed five plays to go 66 yards in only 2:10, culminating with a 13-yard scamper through the C-C backfield that put the Warriors up 21-12 early in the 3rd quarter. C-C immediately responded with a 52-yard Carleton kickoff return (169 all-purpose yards and two TDs in the contest), setting up great field position.
The Patriots offense took advantage with a 12-play march including a big Fivek fourth down run, a 16-yard catch and run by DeMayo, and an 18-yard touchdown pass from Fivek to Hoover on fourth and goal from the L-S 18. Senior tight end/defensive end Aengus Wilson caught the 2-point conversion pass from Fivek to cut the Warriors’ lead to 21-20 with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter opened with the Pats defense making some big plays. After an L-S first down, senior defensive linemen Ben Mackey and Addison McIntyre teamed up to drop the Warriors for a loss. Then a blitzing DeMayo screamed through the line and sacked the L-S quarterback on back-to-back plays to force a Warriors punt and the C-C offense was in business with a chance to take the lead.
But after a first down past midfield, the C-C drive stalled, and the Pats had to punt. The Warriors then proceeded to pound the ball on a punishing 12 play, 80-yard drive that led to a three-yard quarterback sneak with only 35 seconds left. A successful 2-point conversion run led to the final margin of victory for LS at 29-20.
This Friday night, the Patriots finish the pre-playoffs portion of the schedule with a must-win game against Acton-Boxborough (7 p.m. start at Memorial Field). The Revolution (2-5, 1-4 Dual County League) may be having a down year, but fully expect them to come out fighting in the latest chapter in this rivalry.