Boston High School: Valentine Iwejuo
September, 30, 2012
By Ryan Kilian | ESPNBoston.com
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -– The much-anticipated offensive battle between Roxbury Latin and Thayer exceeded all expectations as Roxbury Latin scored the final touchdown to defeat Thayer 34-33 on Saturday afternoon.
In a see-saw game that saw six ties or lead changes, it was Roxbury Latin (2-0) that made the key plays at the end of the game to earn their second win of the season.
Latin senior quarterback Mackay Lowrie completed 24-of-37 passes for 291 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Latin attack. The dual-threat quarterback with the big arm also picked his spots on the ground, as he picked up numerous first downs to keep the chains moving all afternoon.
Trailing 33-28, the Boston College-bound Lowrie led Latin down the field and concluded the come-from-behind drive by tossing his fifth touchdown pass of the day to his sophomore wide receiver brother, Sean.
“It is symbolic of our team,” Mackay Lowrie said regarding the final drive. “We are coming back and we are tough, all 45 guys. Everyone stepped up and everyone made a play. All eleven guys.”
The final 11-yard scoring strike was the Lowrie brother’s fourth touchdown connection of the day.
“This year he is stepping up big,” Mackay Lowrie said of his brother Sean. “He had about 180 (yards) last week and obviously he had a huge game this week.”
Trailing 34-33 with 3:52 remaining, Thayer junior quarterback Jack Becker led the Tigers down the field into Roxbury Latin territory.
Roxbury Latin defensive end Guy Green would then come up with the play of the game as the junior broke in from his left end position and sacked Becker. The sack also forced a fumble that defensive back Sean Frankenthaler would recover with 43 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Roxbury Latin head coach Pat Ross lauded Green after the game in the postgame huddle and presented him with the game ball for his efforts. Ross also stressed the importance of his team’s successful offensive rhythm throughout the day.
“We do everything out of the no-huddle and with the wrist bands so tempo is very important for us,” Ross said after the game.
It was another impressive offensive display by both teams on Saturday as Becker tossed two touchdowns for Thayer in defeat. He competed one to tight end Conor O’Brien in the first half on a beautiful 40-yard strike and another to star wide receiver Bryan Vieira in the second half for 12 yards. Vieira would also come up with a huge game-changing interception return for a touchdown in the final quarter, resulting in one of the six lead changes.
“We knew we were gong to have to score a lot of points,” Mackay Lowrie said. “We heard all week about their offense but we knew if we kept them contained and kept Bryan Vieira, who is a heck of a player, in check, we could do some things.”
Roxbury Latin got strong second half defensive efforts from defensive lineman Valentine Iwejuo and Mark Goldstein. Thayer received strong efforts from running back Mitchell Welsh (1 touchdown) and athlete Archi Jerome, who served at wideout, defensive back and kick returner.
Momentum Changer: Trailing 21-7 with 1:48 remaining in the first half Lowrie found his brother Sean for a 10-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 21-14.
On the following Thayer drive Roxbury Latin defensive back Sean Frankenthaler made an athletic interception on the sideline to set up another Lowrie to Lowrie touchdown connection. The touchdown tied the score at 21-21 at the half and gave Roxbury Latin the important momentum shift heading to the break.
Key injuries: Both teams lost key players during the game as Thayer senior running back Aaron Gilmer left in the second half with an injury after running for 85 yards and one touchdown in the first half.
Roxbury Latin also lost senior receiver Sean Myers with a leg injury after Myers started off the game strong with the opening touchdown reception.
ROXBURY LATIN 34, THAYER 33
RL (2-0) 7 – 14 – 7 -6 – 34
TA (0-2) 7 – 14 –6– 6 – 33
R – Sean Myers 8 pass from Mackay Lowrie (John Barron kick)
T – Conor O’Brien 40 pass from Jack Becker (Bryan Vieira kick)
T – Aaron Gilmer 20 run (Vieira kick) T– Mitch Welsh 2 run (Harrison Balder kick)
R– Sean Lowrie 10 pass from Mackay Lowrie (Barron kick)
R– Sean Lowrie 34 pass from Mackay Lowrie (Barron kick)
R– Sean Lowrie 8 pass from Mackay Lowrie (Barron kick)
T – Vieira 12 pass from Becker (kick failed)
T – Viera 22 interception (pass failed)
R – Sean Lowrie 11 pass from Mackay Lowrie (rush failed)