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St. John’s defeats Leominster to win Central Mass. Division 2 title

By Chris Wraight, Contributing Writer

St. John's High School quarterback Drew Smiley (#12) breaks for a long run as Leominster High School's Jarell Addo (#5) scrambles in hot pursuit.

St. John’s High School quarterback Drew Smiley (#12) breaks for a long run as Leominster High School’s Jarell Addo (#5) scrambles in hot pursuit.

Leominster – The St. John’s High School Pioneers traveled to Leominster’s Doyle Field to face the Leominster High School Blue Devils  Nov. 15 for the Central Mass. Division 2 football title game.  In their most recent meeting in September Leominster prevailed 33-12, which continued a Leominster winning streak stretching back four prior games, including two Super Bowls.

The Blue Devils started up where they left off, with Matt Blanchs scoring on a one-yard run (James Gurley point-after kick) for a 7-0 lead after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the game exploded with the Pioneers’ quarterback Drew Smiley scoring on a five-yard run (point-after run failed).  Leominster’s Blanchs answered right back on a two-yard run (point-after run failed).  St. John’s’ Dan Crowley then scored on an 11-yard pass from Smiley (two-point conversion by Shane Combs).  St. John’s's Jack Coveney next kicked a field goal for three points.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Blue Devils’ Mayson Williams ran the kickoff back 81 yards (point-after run failed) and it appeared they would take the momentum into the half but with less than a minute on the clock the Pioneers drove and scored on a Combs one-yard run (Coveney point-after kick) to take a 24-20 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, St. John’s picked right up where it left off with Nick Calvano taking a seven-yard pass from Smiley (point-after kick by Coveney). Leominster’s James Gurley scored on a nine-yard run (Neil O’Connor point-after run).  Then St. John’s Michael McGillicuddy scored on a 70-yard pass play from Smiley (point-after kick blocked).  Leominster’s Williams ran it in from one-yard out (point-after run failed) to make the score after three quarters 37-28 in St. John’s’ favor.

The Pioneers’ Smiley scored on a one-yard run (point after kick by Coveney) in the fourth quarter with Leominster’s Jake Allain hauling in a pass from O’Connor and running 75- yards (point-after run failed).  St. John’s answered right back with Smiley scoring again on a 69-yard run from scrimmage (point-after Coveney kick).

With the clock running out Leominster’s last chance was squashed as St. John’s’ Smiley made a key interception and the Pioneers won 51-42 to take the title, the first for head coach John Andreoli.

St. John’s heads next to the State semi-final where they will face Springfield Central High School.

Photos/Chris Wraight

St. John's High School head coach John Andreoli, left is congratulated by MIAA official Fran Whitten on winning the Central Division 2 championship.

St. John’s High School head coach John Andreoli, left is congratulated by MIAA official Fran Whitten on winning the Central Division 2 championship.

 

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=42644

Posted by on Nov 16 2013. Filed under Byline Stories, Sports, Stories With Good Photos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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