Boston High School: Billy Jackman

Recap: No. 22 Lincoln-Sudbury 21, A-B 3

November, 3, 2012

SUDBURY, Mass. -- Three-year starter Christopher Giorgio has seen this Lincoln-Sudbury senior class grow from a few starters to what became a crucial part of a third-straight Dual County League (Large) division championship team last night.

In what has been a close rivalry the past five years, the No. 23 Warriors bested division rival Acton-Boxboro for the fourth straight time and cruised to a postseason berth with a commanding 21-3 victory at Myers Field.

“Starting off we did not have many (sophomore) starters,” said Giorgio of his sophomore year. “A lot of [our success] had to doing with starting at a young age and having older kids that taught us leadership skills. We were ready to [defend] it again this year.”

All three L-S (8-1, 3-0) touchdowns were scored by senior backs with the first two coming off a pair of two yard rushes by Giorgio at 7:02 and 1:47 respectively in the second quarter.

Junior backup quarterback Ben Colello caught a pitch from senior quarterback Henry Guild, faked the run, and hit a 10-yard pass to teammate senior Marquis Simmons to place the Warriors on the 26-yard line four minutes into the second quarter.

An eight-yard trap rush by senior Malik Layne on the next play put L-S in position for its first score.

“We stay low and keep the legs moving,” Giorgio said. “Repetition [and] knowing what the defense's formats and strengths are.”

After a 15-yard facemask penalty benefited L-S on its next possession, Guild broke a pair of sweep plays for 13 and 18 yards to set up Giorgio's second touchdown for a 14-0 lead.

A-B took four minutes and 11 plays to move 56 yards and put the ball on the Warriors' 14-yard line during its opening play of the second half. However a total of zero yards on its next three plays, forced the Colonials to let senior Jack Perry kick a 31-yard field goal.

Layne caught the edge on the final play of the third quarter and swept eight yards to bury the Colonials (6-3, 0-2) , with 21-3 touchdown.

“Henry [Guild] did a great job of orchestrating the offense,” Warriors head coach Tom Lopez said. “We had pretty good balance on offense [and] we did it against a very good team.”

Killer Turnovers
Turnovers and conversion failures stunted the Colonials' offense and set up two Warriors' scores.

Senior linebacker Dario Morando flew by the offensive line and grabbed senior Billy Jackman in the backfield to force a failed fourth and 1 attempt on A-B's 36-yard line at eight minutes in the second quarter to setup the first score.

Warriors senior Nick Deandrade grabbed a fumble off a botched sweep play the Colonials' 47-yard line at 4:03 to prompt the final scoring

“We moved the ball and then we would make a mistake and go the wrong way,” A-B head coach Bill Maver said. “Execution and mistakes. I think that is what hurt us more than anything.”

CARROLL'less, but Senior Laden
Malik Layne and Giorgio have stepped up the pass two weeks to fill the role of missing leading rusher and senior Brian Carroll, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

Layne rumbled for 87 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries to lead the Warriors in rushing, while his fellow senior, Giorgio, took 15 carries for 59 yards and two touchdowns.

“I keep telling people, 'We are doing this without Brian Carroll and it is unbelievable,'” said Lopez. “They have great balance and they are physically and mentally tough.”

“We dedicate this season to [Carroll],” added Giorgio.

Not So Close This Time Around
The double-digit win last night by L-S is an oddity in a rivalry that has been predominantly a one-score game during the last five years. With A-B grabbing a 15-6 win in 2008, L-S has won four of the last five -- all by one score.

“The last two weeks have been tough,” Lopez said. “We have not lost a DCL game in a long time. If we stay healthy, we are looking forward to another shot in the playoffs.”

A-B (6-3) 0 – 0 – 3 – 0 – 3
L-S (8-1) 0 – 14 – 0 - 7 – 21

LS – Chris Giorgio 2 run (Chris Roder kick)
LS – Giorgio 2 run (Roder kick)
AB – Jack Perry 31 field goal
LS – Malik Layne 8 run (Roder kick)

Recap: A-B 4, No. 12 Chelmsford 2

May, 25, 2012
LOWELL, Mass. -– The Acton-Boxborough Colonials rode the left arm and bat of senior Ryan McDonald on Thursday night as they defeated Chelmsford 4-2 in the Mickey Sullivan Baseball Classic at the Lowell Spinners' Lalacheur Park.

McDonald tossed 6.1 innings of one run baseball before giving way to reliever Ethan Dukes, who battled a spirited seventh inning Chelmsford (13-7) comeback for the save.

“Ryan (McDonald) is a bulldog for us,” said A-B head coach Patrick Grucela. “His pitch count was a little high but he just works hard, throws in the mid 80’s and he also trusts his catcher and the game we are trying to call.”

McDonald struck out eight and walked five while surrendering only four hits and two runs on the evening.

“It killed me not to finish it as that is what I strive to do,” said McDonald. “I feel proud that we finished it off as a team and it boosts our confidence.”

Chelmsford’s Mike Rosa had the games only extra base hit in the fourth inning as the junior outfielder laced a double over the head of leaping center fielder Thulani Denaro. Rosa would later score the Lions’ first run of the game on an RBI single by junior third baseman Conor Barry.

Chelmsford lefthander Russell Olive relieved sophomore classmate Quinn Cooney in the third inning and went the rest of the way for the Lions on the mound.

More from McDonald: McDonald not excelled on the mound but he also provided three solid singles and helped his own cause in the third inning when he drove in Billy Jackman with a rip to left center for the game’s first run.

“I was looking for my pitch to hit and Coach (Grucela) always provides us with a good scouting report on all the pitchers we face,” said McDonald. “I just took that into the game today and it worked out.”

McDonald’s 3-for-4 performance at the plate led the A-B hitting attack that also featured two hits each from John Mielke and Andrew Sweet. The Colonials had 10 hits in the game.

Squeeze Play: A-B executed a perfect suicide squeeze in the fifth inning as Mielke laid the bunt down and Joe Euele timed it perfectly and scored. The run gave the Colonials a 4-1 lead at the time.

“We should have actually squeezed in the second,” noted Grucela. “The same situation came up again in the fifth and I learned from my mistake. That was a big play. We got the bunt down, we did not break too early and it was great execution on the kid’s part.”

Late Inning Rally: Chelmsford second baseman David DeDonato scored on a Dukes wild pitch after reaching on a single to lead off the seventh inning.

The Lions got the potential game tying run on second base but Dukes would battle out of a bases loaded situation and get Barry to fly out to center to end the game.

“I was proud of the way we came out but I was more proud of the way we finished,” said Grucela. “We have been preaching all season to be mentally tough when those moments come up and I think we did a great job of that today.”

D1 Tournament Bound: Both teams will be headed back to the MIAA Division 1 state tournament next week. A-B concluded their regular season with today’s win and finish with a 14-6 overall record.

“That is why we play those teams like Lowell twice, BC High, and Chelmsford,” Grucela said. “Those teams really prepare you for the tournament which we were fortunate enough to make this year.”

Chelmsford concludes their season this weekend as they travel to Wilmington to take part in the Dick Scanlon tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Participating teams include Salem, Wayland and host Wilmington. Chelmsford faces off against Salem at 3 p.m. on Saturday, with the Championship and Consolation games taking place on Sunday.

Recap: No. 1 BC High 15, No. 10 A-B 11

April, 4, 2012

ACTON, Mass. -- It was what one could expect from an early-season baseball game: two teams still working out some kinks, while at the same time showing flashes of what each can be when everything comes together for them.

As dark rain clouds rolled over the field, No. 1 BC High was able to record the final out and fend off a potential seventh-inning rally from No. 10 Acton-Boxborough. The Eagles won on the scoreboard, 15-11, but it left the team feeling like it has a ways to go now that the games count.

“Obviously I’m really happy with the offense,” said BC High (1-0) coach Norm Walsh. “We weren’t swinging the bat well the past few days, so we had a little chat about pitch selection and approach at the plate and I think we re-focused and did what we needed to do offensively.

“We had a couple of defensive lapses, which were uncharacteristic. That was a little bothersome. It’s tough to get on my pitchers at this point, but the big thing is we have to throw strikes. In the last couple of innings, we didn’t throw strikes. It’s not that we don’t have the ability to get people out, because we do. When we threw the ball well through the strike zone, we got outs. It was just giving them free base runners that we can’t afford to have.”

The run production started right from the beginning of the game for BC High. After leadoff hitter Dan Dougherty worked the count full against A-B (0-2) starter Reid Jordan, he belted the payoff pitch over the right field fence to give his team the early lead.

Ryan Tufts, the very next batter, was hit by a pitch. Next, senior catcher Bobby Melley hit a rocket double all the way to the fence, which allowed Tufts to score all the way from first. A-B was already playing from behind before it got a chance to bat.

Jordan left the game after four innings, giving up nine runs. The A-B relief pitchers did not fare much better. The Eagles scored at least one run in each inning besides the last.

Conversely, BC High’s Tommy McDonald gave up seven runs, lasting five innings, giving up eight hits and three walks.

Colonials keep it close: It was not all smooth for BC High, however. Over the course of the game, defensive lapses allowed A-B to prolong innings, and ultimately generate runs.

In the third inning, a hit batsman and a single put runners on first and second with one out. A-B’s Ryan McDonald hit a grounder at Tufts, who fielded it cleanly on the edge of the grass. Rather than throwing over to first to get the sure out, Tufts turned around and tried to tag out Billy Jackman. He was too late, as Jackman beat him to the bag by several steps. He still threw over to try to get the out at first, but McDonald beat out the throw, thus loading the bases.

That turned into a three-run inning for A-B, making it a 5-4 game.

In the fifth, A-B had the bases loaded and already scored a run. Brendan Phelan hit a line drive at shortstop Jake Marotta, but the ball hit off his glove and into the outfield. What could have ended the inning lead to A-B to two more runs.

“We made mistakes, errors, judgment stuff, stuff that probably could have put four or five more runs on the board for them,” said Melley. “We could cut down on that. In close games, we’re going to need stuff like that to win ball games.”

Walsh credited those mistakes to where his team is in the season, believing they aren’t emblematic of the team as a whole.

“I think those are early season jitters,” he said. “Over the process here, I don’t think that’s going to continue by any means. I think we’re going to be a very good defensive team.”

Melley Mashes: In the fifth, Melley came to bat with a runner on second. The left-handed hitting catcher took the first two pitches, making the count 2-0.

Earlier in the game, he had hit the ball well against Jordan, but this time, he was up against junior Andrew Sweet. In what can only be characterized as a hitters count, Melley got a chest-high fastball and was able to get under it and get a good enough part of the bat on it to muscle it out of the park for a two-run home run. It was an impressive fete of strength for the senior captain.

“I was looking for a fastball, and I was comfortable against (Sweet) and what he was throwing to me,” he said. “I saw the fastball, probably about head-level. I really did get under it but I had enough to get it in the wind and get it out of there.”

Recap: No. 13 L-S 21, A-B 14

November, 5, 2011

ACTON, Mass. -– Chris Giorgio led Lincoln-Sudbury to a close 21-14 win over league rival Acton-Boxborough last night with 10 carries for 40 yards and two touchdowns. The win keeps the Warriors on the undefeated (thus far) wall and pole position in the Dual County Small race.

“O-line played great today,” said Giorgio after the game.

Giorgio scored his first touchdown with a leaping dive late in the first quarter over the bodies of offensive and defensive lineman on the grass as snow still piled up on the sidelines. The second, early in the second quarter, came after a three and out for A-B on the ensuing drive. Although Giorgio put the most points on the board, he still gave props to his teammates for producing their complimentary offense that allowed him to get space for his scores.

“Brian Carroll, Dan Cellucci ran the ball amazing, Henry Guild ran the ball, Jack Harris [caught] the ball well, Matt Cahill threw the ball well. I just ran it in easy,” added Giorgio.

Cold as Ice: After last week’s storm, the cold stayed in the area and as the game went along, so did the hard hits slow down. For the second week in a row, senior captain Kyle Ashley proved an alarming opponent with seven tackles, protecting the L-S end zone with as much fervor as he and the brethren could muster in near freezing temperatures.

“We knew that this was the game that… had the possibility to take us to the Super Bowl and we got it done and we’re going to the playoffs,” said Ashley.

Border Line Antagonist: Not only do the regional high schools of Acton-Boxborough and Lincoln-Sudbury exist within the same league but the towns of Acton and Boxborough sit above the towns of Lincoln and Sudbury geographically, so the need to show whose on top is there. According to Colonials coach Bill Maver, and exhibited by players in a close game picking each other up off the ground, the healthy rivalry is fierce during play, but dissipates once the whistle blows the ball dead.

“Tom [Lopez] is a great friend of mine. I want to beat him bad and I am sure he wants to beat me bad too,” said Maver laughing. “After the game, we shake hands and we’re friends. I think that’s what’s great about the rivalry.”

Thin Edge: Late in the fourth quarter, Acton-Boxboro put together a sustained drive led by Kyle Sweeney with 46 yards on the series (112 on the day), but once they got down to the 20, on third and one, Chris Giorgio and William Twyman stuffed him for a two yard loss, and an incomplete pass to open space on fourth down killed the chance for the Colonials to take a game and slay the dragon. While it will go down in the history books as a win, it was not decisive in the eyes of L-S quarterback Matt Cahill; it was a game down to the last whistle.

“Acton came out and played and unbelievable game, they’re an unbelievable team, a real class act,” said senior quarterback Matt Cahill. “But at the end of the day, we were the ones on the right side of the score board, and that’s a great feeling.”

LS (9-0, 3-0) 7 - 7 - 7 - 0 --– 21
AB (5-4, 1-1) 0 - 7 - 7 - 0 –-- 14

First Quarter
L – Chris Giorgio 6 run (William Twyman kick)

Second Quarter
L – Giorgio 3 run (Twyman kick)
A – Kyle Sweeney 6 pass from Ethan Dukes (Jack Perry kick)

Third Quarter
L – Dan Cellucci 33 pass from Matt Cahill (Twyman kick)
A – Billy Jackman 14 run (Perry kick)

Young L-S squad seizes DCL Large destiny

November, 6, 2010

SUDBURY, Mass. -– There traditionally hasn’t been much margin for error in the classics between Dual County League rivals Acton-Boxborough and Lincoln-Sudbury. But it was one of the youngest additions to the age old rivalry that helped the Warriors preserve a 10-7 win over the 24th-ranked Colonials Friday night in Sudbury.

L-S sophomore Brian Carroll pocketed a clutch fourth-quarter interception, along with some key rushes in his nine-carry, 72-yard performance. Coupled with quarterback Matt Cahill’s (8 of 11, 128 yards) efficient contributions in the passing game, a rushing touchdown from Chrstopher Giorgio and a fourth-quarter field goal from William Twyman, the young Warriors have shown they’ve done a lot of growing up in a hurry.

“It shows how far we’ve come and we’re playing real well right now,” Carroll said.

And L-S (6-3, 3-0 DCL Large) has just so happened to play themselves into playoff contention in the process.

With the win over A-B (7-2, 2-1), the Warriors control their destiny in the DCL Large with a game in hand over the Colonials and Westford, which each have losses to L-S on their records. In its wins over the Grey Ghosts and A-B in back-to-back weeks, L-S hasn’t had a whole lot of wiggle room, winning both games by three-point margins.

The Warriors need only to win one of their remaining games with Boston Latin and Newton South to become DCL Large champions.

With just two seniors starting on either side of the ball, it has made the ride all that much more improbable.

“I couldn’t be happier,” L-S head coach Tom Lopez said. “I never thought we’d be at this point right now, especially after that first loss to Tewksbury.”

The Colonials entered the game have allowed opponents under six point per game on average, led by senior linebacker Eric Apgar (two sacks), but the Warriors were on the board first with Giorgio’s 12-yard touchdown with 1:45 to play in the first quarter. The rushing score capped off an impressive four-play drive which started on the L-S 40-yard line. Three big plays of 20-plus yards (a Carroll run, a Cahill pass to John Harris and a Cahill keeper) set up the game’s first score.

The Warriors chipped away at the A-B defense, but was unable to knock one into the end zone on a goal-to-go situation midway through the fourth quarter. L-S settled for a field goal try, which Twyman drove through the uprights from 18 yards out.

It would prove to be the game-winner.

The Colonials had moved into Warrior territory on the ensuing drive before Carroll picked off a Mike Morris pass at the L-S 7-yard line.

“I was in deep coverage, but I was just reading the quarterback’s eyes,” Carroll said. “I made a jump on it and I got there in time.”

A-B forced the Warriors three and out and translated the late stop into its lone score. Morris hit Billy Jackman on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 2:05 remaining in the game.

After L-S recovered the Colonials’ onside kick attempt, a 33-yard run by Carroll is all the Warriors would need to ice the win.

“We’ve got to get him the ball more,” a smiling Lopez said of Carroll.

Acton-Boxborough 0 0 0 7 -- 7
Lincoln-Sudbury 7 0 0 3 -- 10

First quarter

L-S Christopher Giorgio 12-yard run (Will Twyman kick)

Fourth quarter
L-S Will Twyman 18-yard field goal
A-B Billy Jackman 10-yard pass from Mike Morris (Jack Perry kick)