NEEDHAM – Governor's Academy did not lead for the first 43 minutes of it's game last night against St. Sebastian's.
The undefeated Governors scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to power past the Arrows, 27-14, and improve its winning streak to 21 games, the best such streak in ISL football.
“We really scrapped it; we knew what we were in for,” Governor's coach Jim O'Leary said. “This team's a tough team. We know they're physical so we said 'we're coming after you.'”
The game was owned by Brandon Lopez. The Governor's tailback rushed 33 times for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns, the second of which iced the victory in the final minute. Along with a committee of other tailbacks, Lopez and the Governor's were able to wear down St. Sebastian's.
“We just knew that after a while we would wear them down,” O'Leary said. “We were focused and we knew what he had to do in the second half. I think we caught them a little off guard.
In the early going, it was St. Sebastian's who dictated the terms of engagement. The Arrows only ran 18 offensive plays in the first 24 minutes, but held a 7-6 lead at the break. The defense was able to slow down Governor's triple option.
On Geoff Wade's first pass of the game he found Matt Daniel for a 43-yard touchdown down the St. Sebastian’s sideline the Arrows up 7-0 midway through the first. The duo also connected on a 41-yard score in the third quarter.
The Arrow defense turned Governor's over twice on downs in the first half and, along with a missed Governor's field goal, went into the half up 7-6.
In the second half St. Sebastian's were unable to convert on key plays on turned the ball over twice.
“We had a couple of big scores but we felt we could do some things that our kids couldn't do as well,” St. Sebastian's coach Bob Souza said. “We were moving the ball; we just didn't execute.”
TOTAL CONTROL: It took a while for Lopez and the triple option attack to get going, but once it did it was suffocating. Govenor's ran 29 more plays than St. Sebastian's and used drives of 7:53 and 5:24 in the second half to soften up the Arrows.
Souza said that once the waves start coming it's hard to stop.
“They run an offense we haven't seen so it's hard to prepare for, and they run it well,” Souza said. “It's hard to simulate; that's a tough offense to stop.”
Lopez touched the ball on nearly half of Governor's plays (33 of 67), but it was players like Edward Bettencourt and Tom Vailas who were the X-factors. Vailas rushed 16 times for 46 yards and a touchdown, and Bettencourt touched the ball five times and scored Governor's opening touchdown.
AIN'T NO STOPPING US NOW: After the clock reached zero the Governor's bench, and sizable student section, spilled onto the field to celebrate the win. After 21 consecutive victories O'Leary said that he won't let his team get complacent.
“We don't take days off; we don't take plays off,” O'Leary said. “We go to work every day.”