MARLBOROUGH – Four quarters of play wasn’t enough to separate the Marlborough and Nashoba Regional varsity football teams in a Kelleher Field thriller on Friday, Oct. 14.
After tying through regulation time at 7-7, a coin toss gave Nashoba the first possession of the overtime period, where they scored a touchdown and conversion to go up by 8.
Marlborough’s subsequent possession ended in a touchdown, but an unsuccessful 2-point conversion finalized the 15-13 victory for Nashoba.
The game was highlighted by strong defensive performances from both sides, causing the game to remain scoreless into the fourth quarter before each team found the end zone.
According to Marlborough Head Coach Sean Mahoney, the Panthers defense has caused problems for every offense it has faced so far this season.
“Our key to success is that we play good defense, and we are able to run the ball,” Mahoney said. “Neither offense got going tonight. They had some big plays, but our defense did a good job once they got into the red zone.”
Prior to this weekend’s loss, the most that Marlborough had allowed any opponent to score against them this season was just 14 points.
Senior running back Nealon Stemple and junior Miguel Borges have been key players on the offensive side of the ball, according to Mahoney. Stemple is also a team captain for the 2022 season and one of 18 seniors on the team.
“Our leadership is good. We have 18 seniors, they’re good kids, they work hard, and they are role models for the younger kids,” Mahoney said.
With just two games remaining in the regular season, the team’s focus now is bouncing back from their loss and securing a spot in the playoffs.
“We have to come back Monday ready to practice, forget about a tough loss and look ahead,” Mahoney said. “That’s part of football, you learn from the loss, and you hope to win the next one.”
Marlborough returns home for their next matchup on Friday, Oct. 21 against Algonquin.