TAUNTON, Mass. -- Any resemblance between the Lincoln-Sudbury team in the second half of Tuesday’s Eastern Mass. Division IA semifinal game versus Barnstable and the Lincoln-Sudbury team in the first half was pure coincidence.
The Warriors were dead in the water in the first half as the Red Raiders built a 13-0 lead. But Lincoln-Sudbury rallied behind quarterback Matt Cahill and edged Barnstable, 14-13 – with all of the Warriors' points coming in the fourth quarter.
Barnstable (7-5) was clinging to a 13-7 lead late in the fourth when it went for a first down on fourth-and-two from the Warriors’ 6. But the Warriors slammed Hayden Murphy for a three-yard loss.
What transpired next was the stuff of legends as Cahill guided a 71-yard drive which culminated when he threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jack Harris with 2:19 remaining.
Will Twyman then kicked the second of his two PATs for what proved to be the winning point.
“Matt Cahill rebounded from a never-mind-the-first half and played a great second half,” Warriors coach Tom Lopez said. “He’s a great leader.”
All Cahill did in the second half was complete 9-of-11 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
Barnstable bolted to a 13-0 lead at halftime thanks to a 28-yard run by quarterback D.J. Crook late in the first quarter and a 30-yard touchdown pass by Crook to James Burke on the first play of the second.
“We thought we were making mistakes and that’s why they were successful,” Lopez said. “We thought we’d cut down on our mistakes. Having said that, we didn’t play very well in the first half.”
Lopez felt what was a momentum-shifter occurred in the third quarter.
“I think the key was when they stuffed us on fourth-and-two,” Lopez said. “They went three-and-out and that gave us some confidence. All of a sudden the momentum changed.”
After Barnstable punted, the Warriors (11-1) reeled off a 93-yard drive that ended with Cahill’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Harris.
What made the Warriors victory even more impressive was the fact the played all but a few minutes without one of their top players, Brian Carroll.
“We lost Brian Carroll on the second series (with a shoulder injury),” Lopez said. “He’s basically been our whole offense. He had eight interceptions on defense and 800 yards rushing on offense.
“He’s not in and Dan Cellucci, Greg Roder and Henry Guild all did a great job filling in. I couldn’t be more proud of our kids.”
LINCOLN-SUDBURY 14, BARNSTABLE 13
L-S (11-1) 0-0-0-14 - 14
Barnstable (7-5) 6-7-0-0 – 13
B – D.J. Crook 28 run (kick failed)
B – James Burke 30 pass from Crook (Tom Mullen kick)
LS – Jack Harris 11 pass from Matt Cahill (Will Twyman kick)
LS - Harris 13 pass from Cahill (Twyman kick)