LYNN, Mass. -- Behind 262 yards rushing by junior Jordan Collier, St. Mary’s knocked off Shawsheen with relative ease on Tuesday night, shutting out the Rams before Shawsheen scored a touchdown with less than a minute left in the game. The Spartans rolled 36-8.
Shawsheen made a run early in the first quarter, getting within field goal range in their first drive. However, their drive was to no avail following a missed field goal.
St. Mary’s turned the ball over on downs late in the first quarter, but after getting the ball again early in the second quarter, Collier struck quickly with a 66-yard touchdown run.
Later on in the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Jake Cassidy extended the lead on a twelve-yard sneak, putting St. Mary’s up 16-0 following their second successful two-point conversion.
Staring at that two touchdown lead going into the half, Shawsheen was never able to get anything going offensively early in the second half, a time where they desperately needed to get something going offensively.
“They didn’t give us the short stuff undernearth…it forced us to try to get further down the field, and their pass rush put a lot of pressure on us. They played a complete game,” Shawsheen head coach Al Costabile said.
With dominant defense holding Shawsheen down, Collier did the rest, running for two long touchdowns of 64 and 85 yards respectively early in the fourth quarter.
“[Collier] was just unbelievable, great effort,” St. Mary’s coach Matt Durgin said, “his teammates blocked well for him; he hit the hole, got the runs, and got in the endzone for us.”
Rams sophomore running back Connor Sakowich got in on the act late in the fourth quarter, scoring a 55 yard touchdown of his own to put St. Mary’s up 36-0. Sakowich relieved the lightning-quick Collier, who finished with 262 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 carries.
“It was a great team effort, just outstanding. Shawsheen started out moving the ball down the field early on, but as the game went on I think we wore them down,” Durgin said.
Most of that wearing down came thanks to Collins, who couldn’t be more excited to play for a shot at the super bowl title.
“[Winning] was the best feeling I could have, words can’t explain how I feel right now,” he said, “it’s gonna’ be awesome, I can’t wait. I’m just gonna’ play my heart out, just put it all out on the field.”
St. Mary’s (11-1) will move on to play Abington in the eastern Mass. division 4A Super Bowl on Saturday at Curry College. Exact time is expected to be announced by the MIAA on Wednesday.