- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. – No one was surprised when Swampscott’s Phillip Larkin plunged into the end zone with what proved to be a game-winning two-point conversion try on a fake point after play.
With 16 seconds remaining in the game, Big Blue got within one point at 42-41 after Michael Walsh’s third touchdown pass of the game. What came next was the more predictable part of Swampscott’s 43-42 comeback win over Revere on Saturday.
Larkin knew the play call and Swampscott head coach Steve Dembowski didn’t hesitate with the call to go for two with a dash of trickery. Even Revere head coach Louis Cicatelli had a guess at what was to come next.
“We knew that was coming,” said Cicatelli whose team was off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1981. “He was just able to get around the corner and get in.”
What would have been much harder to forecast was how Swampscott (3-1) returned to the field in the second half a new team.
Patriots running back Trae Weathers ran roughshod over Big Blue defenders to the tune of 221 yards in the first half alone. Weathers left his mark on the scoreboard with five touchdowns through the first 22 minutes of play and Revere (3-1) led 34-14 at the break.
In the second half, Weathers was limited to just 38 yards on the ground to finish with 33 carries for 259 yards. The Big Blue defense had better luck wrapping up the 6-foot, 210-pound running back, while forcing a couple of key turnovers.
“I’m so impressed with Revere,” Dembowski said. “They humiliated us in the first half … We looked awful.”
As the defense held in the second half, Walsh and the offense went to work.
Larkin began the long climb back with a pair of touchdown runs of five and four yards to start the third quarter. He finished the game with 11 carries for 64 yards, two touchdowns and two successful two-point conversions.
However, the Patriots responded with Paul Norton’s 67-yard touchdown pass to Drew Lauria and, with a successful two-point conversion run by Weathers, took a 42-28 lead with 23 seconds remaining in the third.
After the teams exchanged possessions — with a couple of Big Blue three-and-outs and two Revere fumbles mixed in — Swampscott regrouped once again.
Walsh, who completed 25 of 43 pass attempts for 322 yards and three touchdowns, struck for a 7-yard touchdown run with 6:25 remaining. The Big Blue defense bottled up Revere, forcing a turnover on downs after a fourth-and-one rush fell short and Swampscott had the ball back with 1:51 on the clock.
“We had a real good attitude and confidence going at it,” Walsh said of the comeback effort. “It all started with the cattle [offensive linemen] up front, they did a great job. They were moving the defensive line off the ball and our wideouts made a bunch of nice plays.”
Walsh marched the offense down the field, hitting on 7 of 10 pass attempts on the game-winning drive. He capped it off, finding a wide-open Zach Beermann, who collected his second touchdown reception from 16 yards out with 16 seconds left to play.
All that was left was for Larkin to seal the deal on the two-point play.
“We know that it was a great call,” Larkin said. “We just want to be able to get the ball in. Fortunately, we got the ball in.”
SWAMPSCOTT 43, REVERE 42
Revere 8 26 8 0 -- 42
Swampscott 0 14 14 15 -- 43
R - Trae Weathers 4-yard run (Weathers run)
R - Weathers 62-yard run (rush failed)
R - Weathers 5-yard run (Quintin Wesley kick)
S - Zach Beermann 20-yard pass from Michael Walsh (pass failed)
R - Weathers 39-yard run (pass failed)
S - Peter Yasi 13-yard pass from Walsh (Phillip Larkin run)
R - Trae Weathers 33-yard run (rush failed)
S - Larkin 5-yard run (Steven Page kick)
S - Larkin 4-yard run (Page kick)
R - Drew Lauria 67-yard pass from Paul Norton (Weathers run)
S - Walsh 7-yard run (Page kick)
S - Beermann 16-yard pass from Walsh (Larkin run)