WESTFORD, Mass. -– With the game tied at 7-7 and 26 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Lincoln-Sudbury quarterback Henry Guild found wide receiver Marquis Simmons deep over the middle for a 52-yard game winning touchdown pass.
“I just went up and grabbed the ball, kept running straight and scored it,” Simmons said of the game-winning scoring play. “It was seam route and coach just told us before the play to go out and win this game.”
The 14-7 win gave Lincoln-Sudbury the advantage in the Dual County League Large race as they improved to 7-1, 2-0 in the DCL Large.
In a back-and-forth defensive battle where both teams played a strategic game of field position it was the big play that sealed the win for L-S.
“It was that type of game,” Lincoln-Sudbury coach Tom Lopez said after the game. “Both teams made plays and I could not have been happier with the way the kids played.”
Westford star athlete Justin Mount (105 yards from scrimmage) was steady all night, but he exploded in the fourth quarter, beginning with an interception, followed by a huge 27-yard leaping grab at midfield. Despite Mount’s big play ability L-S kept him out of the end zone on the evening.
“Offensively, Westford Academy is outstanding,” Lopez said. “Defensively we could not have asked for anything better.”
The L-S defense stepped up when needed the most as they forced four Westford Academy turnovers with three coming in the second half. Defensive back Dario Morando led the charge with an interception, a fumble recovery and multiple pass breakups for the Warriors.
Guild also scored a rushing touchdown for the Warriors on a 5-yard bootleg to the right side at the 4:16 mark in the first quarter.
Westford Academy quarterback Troy Faretra added the lone Grey Ghosts touchdown on a 1-yard goal line plunge to tie the score at 7-7 with just two seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Carroll’s void: L-S senior running back and defensive back Brian Carroll remains sidelined with a knee injury but seniors Guild, Chris Giorgio and Malik Layne stepped up and helped L-S move the chains on the ground all evening.
Giorgio finished the evening with 53 rushing yards while Layne added 61 on the ground.
“This is not an excuse but Brian Carroll has not played a down all year,” Lopez said. “He is the best player in the league. Everyone else is chipping in and I could not be happier.”
Carroll, also a star baseball player, is hopeful for a potential late season return.
Turnovers and penalties: Both teams hurt themselves with costly turnovers throughout the game. L-S turned the ball over twice and Westford Academy turned the ball over four times in the game.
Penalties also played a large role in the outcome of the game as both teams had multiple personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that thwarted big drives.
The DCL Large race: A date with Acton-Boxborough looms next Friday for the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors as they look to take a big step forward in the balanced DCL Large race.
A-B fell to DCL Large foe Waltham on Friday night by a score of 42-21. L-S previously defeated Waltham 24-0 on October 5. Westford Academy hosts Boston Latin of the DCL Small next Friday and has two big league games to look forward to as they take on Waltham on November 9 and A-B on the traditional Thanksgiving Day rivalry game.
LINCOLN-SUDBURY 14, WESTFORD ACADEMY 7
LS (7-1) 7 0 0 7 - 14
WA (6-2) 0 0 7 0 - 7
L– Henry Guild 5 run (Joe Kenney kick)
W – Troy Faretra 1 run (Thomas Jacobsen kick)
L – Marquis Simmons 52 pass from Guild (Kenney kick)