Big plays propel ‘Cats past Gryphons – Lowell Sun

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TYNGSBORO —Big plays were the story of the game for the Wilmington High football team Friday night as it pulled away from non-league rival Greater Lowell in the second half en route to a 29-7 victory at Harold O. Bell Field.

In an otherwise evenly played game, the Wildcats (1-1) used the big play to their advantage on several occasions and did so almost right from the start.

After holding the Gryphons (0-2) to a three and out on their opening possession, senior John Germano returned the ensuing punt 60 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown just 1:46 into the game.  Germano added the extra point and the Wildcat had themselves a quick 7-0 lead.

With that kind of start, it may have looked for a few moments like Wilmington would coast to victory.

“I think that was as much a blessing as a curse,” Wilmington coach Craig Turner said.  “Our kids saw that and I think they thought it would be easy. But Greater Lowell had other ideas. They played really tough, so a lot of credit to them.”

Greater Lowell did indeed fight back. After the teams traded three and outs, Greater Lowell started to find their rhythm on offense, going on an 11-play, 56-yard drive to tie the game. After converting a 4th-and-4 earlier in the drive on an eight-yard run by junior running back Axel Diaz, the Gryohons capped the drive with a 17-yard pass from junior quarterback Ryan Bracetty to senior wide receiver Nesly Sainvil in the corner of the end zone on the final play of the first quarter.

Jayson Frasca’s extra point tied the score at 7.

It didn’t stay tied for long, however, as the Wildcats jumped back on top on the ensuing possession, with another big play leading to the score. Facing a 3rd-and-17 from their own 48-yard line, senior quarterback Pedro Germano connected with wide open sophomore Mike Lawler for a 43-yard gain down to the Gryphon nine. Three plays later, senior running back Marcello Misuraca went over right tackle for a touchdown to give the Wildcats the lead, and when Gavin Erickson ran in the two-point conversion, Wilmington had an eight point cushion at 15-7 with 7:50 left in the first half.

The score remained that way until late in the third quarter when Erickson (4 carries, 92 yards) took an inside handoff, and then burst to the outside for a 77-yard touchdown run to extend the Wilmington lead to 21-7 with 2:23 left in the quarter after a failed two-point conversion attempt.

Greater Lowell coach Shane Abrams wished his team could have had a couple of plays back during the course of the game, with Erickson’s run being one of them.

“There were a couple of big plays, and you take those away, and the game is a lot closer in the fourth quarter,” Abrams said. “And the fact that they had their starters in late in the fourth quarter, that’s good. We competed. We had a great game.”

Wilmington capped the scoring midway through the fourth quarter when Misuraca (20 carries, 93 yards) scored his second touchdown of the night, this time from eight yards out, topped off by a two-point conversion run by Lawler for a 29-7 lead with 6:42 left in the game.

Wilmington will host non-league foe Billerica next Friday night in its home opener, while Greater Lowell will stay at home to host CAC rival Essex Tech.



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