Boston High School: Andrew Morency

Recap: Hamilton-Wenham 7, Newburyport 0

November, 29, 2011
ANDOVER, Mass. -- The Hamilton-Wenham offense didn't score many points in Tuesday's Eastern Mass. Division 3A semifinal against Newburyport, but it did produce big plays when the Generals needed them the most.

Hamilton-Wenham came up with three game-changing plays during its final offensive possession, none bigger than a 4-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Trevor Lyons with 32.8 seconds to play.

Lyons' touchdown came on a sweep around right end on a third-down play. He went airborne when he was realized he was nearing the sideline, was hit by two defenders and landed on the goal line.

“I knew I was in,” Lyons said. “Half a yard, there was no way I wasn't getting in.”

The touchdown held up as Hamilton-Wenham advanced to Saturday's Division 3A Super Bowl with a 7-0 triumph. The Generals will face Bourne (12-0), which defeated Bishop Feehan in Tuesday's other 3A semifinal.

The Generals moved the ball 47 yards on 10 plays during its final drive. The other big plays in the drive were a 2-yard sneak by Lyons on a fourth-and-1 play, and a 30-yard screen pass from Lyons to senior running back Eliot Burr on a third-and-16 play. The screen pass moved the ball to the Newburyport 5-yard line.

Hamilton-Wenham improved its record to 11-0. Newburyport, which dropped an 18-6 decision to Hamilton-Wenham in September, finished its season with a 9-3 record.

“We had an idea it could be a defensive slugfest,” Hamilton-Wenham coach Andrew Morency said. “But in the end offensively our big guns got it done. Eliot Burr made a nice play there and Trevor kept his cool and got in the end zone. So you couldn't ask for a better ending.”

The screen pass Morency called was perhaps the most curious play call of the game. The Generals had run that play only twice before this season, but it turned out to be an excellent play against Newburyport's aggressive front seven (sometimes eight).

“I gotta tell you we were going into the attic a little bit,” Morency said. “That middle screen we hadn't run in a while, but it was something we knew we had and it's just kind of ironic that's the play the kind of broke it open a little bit.”

Lyons said he was surprised when he learned the third-down play would be a middle screen.

“That drive was all play calling by coach [Morency],” Lyons said. “We were waiting for the right opportunity to call that play. This was the perfect team to try it on because they like getting after me. It was a great call at a great time.”

Newburyport coach Ed Gaudiano had no explanation for why his offense struggled against Hamilton-Wenham, which allowed an average of 8.0 points per contest in its previous 10 games.

“We thought we could do a couple things, but they did a good job against us up front,” Gaudiano said. “I'll have to go look at the film. I don't know. Didn't look pretty.”

Newburyport quarterback Connor Wile entered the game with 1,968 yards passing and 21 passing touchdowns this season. He was held to five completions in 16 attempts for 44 yards.

Newburyport didn't run a play on Hamilton-Wenham's half of the field after the first quarter. Its best scoring opportunity came on a 19-yard missed field goal attempt on the final play of the first quarter.

“Give them all the credit in the world,” Gaudiano said. “I thought they did a good job defending us.”

Newburyport (9-3) 0 0 0 0 – 0
Hamilton-Wenham (11-0) 0 0 0 7 – 7

4th Quarter

HW – Trevor Lyons 4 run (Paul Kim kick), 32.8.

What we learned: Super Tuesday thoughts

December, 1, 2010
From the time Alex Estrella took a punt return 56 yards for a touchdown off the first series of the game, things didn’t look good for Dave Driscoll’s Dighton-Rehoboth team. What put the Falcons at such a disadvantage in trying to come back in their Division III semifinal was Somerset’s clock-draining double wing ground game.

Both of the Blue Raiders’ featured backs, Seth DeMello and Jaron Spear, were over 100 yards rushing on the night in Somerset’s 28-0 win.

The Falcons could manage just 51 yards in the first half and, in the second half, the Blue Raiders engaged in a ball-control game, possessing the ball for nearly 14 minutes of the second half.

Although teams may know what’s coming, the double wing is hard to defend. And it only helps that Somerset has the right players to get the job done.

“It’s all about the personnel,” Driscoll said of Somerset’s offense. “You’ve got to be quick and you’ve got to be athletic. [Seth] DeMello is very physical and [Jaron] Spear is very fast. So they have everything, plus the quarterback [Adam Ledoux] can throw and he’s athletic.

“They have all the pieces of the puzzle. You can see it on defense, too, how athletic they are and how quick to the ball they are.”

St. John’s Prep sophomore running back Alex Moore doesn’t see the ball too often, but he does have one play in the Eagles’ playbook that he calls his own. It’s called 800 Rocket Right, Counter Left, and it worked to perfection in the Prep’s 35-7 win over New Bedford.

Moore had already made his presence felt against the Whalers, taking an interception back 61 yards for a touchdown on the fourth play from scrimmage. After the Eagles went out to a 13-0 lead on Dillon Gonzalez’s punt return for a touchdown, they were on the move again and cashed in on Moore’s 20-yard run in the second quarter.

“It’s really designed to score a touchdown every time,” Moore said Tuesday.

In the moments following Reading's thrilling 15-14 victory over Dracut last night, Jeff Covitz gushed about his former coach, late assistant Mike Boyd, and how his battle with lung cancer still emboldens the Rockets some 18 months after his death.

"He never quit," Covitz told reporters. "Up until the day he died, he never quit. I always think about Coach Boyd. Even when I'm exhausted, and just want to pass out right on the field, you never quit on this team. You never want to quit on your family. You never quit on coaches."

So with that said, if Covitz was exhausted in the four minutes following Brian Bourque's go-ahead two-point conversion run, he did a great job showing it. He sacked Dracut's Matt Silva twice in the final minutes to seal it for the Rockets, and send them back to Gillette to defend their Division 2 Super Bowl title.

Looking at the stat sheet, maybe you think you have Cardinal Spellman figured out -- Blaise Branch right, Blaise Branch left, rinse, repeat -- and with 36 rushing touchdowns on the season, we don't blame you. But flying under the radar, and providing some crucial punch in the fourth quarter when the Cardinals were trying to hold off Hamilton-Wenham momentum, was fullback Jared Lordi. Typically, Lordi will create holes out of the backfield for Branch, and so far the Cardinals have run head coach Ron St. George's Wing-T scheme exceptionally.

But on this particular night, he provided some spark when the Cardinals got stagnant. His 20-yard catch on fourth and 13 set up a Zac Cooney eight-yard keeper that made it 21-9 in the fourth quarter. Then, with a minute left, he closed the scoring -- and sealed the win -- with a 20-yard fade to the near left pylon, making it a 28-16 final.

"That was great to see," Branch smiled when asked about Lordi's touchdown. "Good to see that. I wish we could get our linemen to do that too."

Said H-W head coach Andrew Morency, "Tough kid. It's funny, you know, they crossed us up a little bit with that play, and in the end we felt like they had shown in films that they could have done that. You know, we got kinda caught up in the moments stopping Branch a little bit, and boom, they come back with that. He ran hard, and he got them a couple of first downs that they really needed at that time. Hats off to that fullback."