Connolly, Aylward a TD Tandem
TEWKSBURY -- Senior quarterback Jay Connolly completed 15 of 17 passes for 274 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Tewksbury High football team to a 35-14 win over Billerica High on Saturday.
Tewksbury 35, Billerica 14
Junior Shane Aylward caught 9 passes for 193 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also took a lateral from Connolly and threw a 22-yard score to senior tight end Connor Brincklow.
On the other side of the ball the Redmen defense held Billerica to 123 yards and pulled down Indians junior quarterback Nolan Houlihan with 4 sacks and 34 yards lost while passing. He ended with 9 completions in 17 attempts for exactly 100 yards.
Tewksbury improved to 4-1 while Billerica fell back to 2-2 with its second straight MVC Division 2 loss.
Tewksbury took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in 7 plays. Connolly threw a 14-yard scoring strike to Joshua Sughrue and Tyler Keough added the conversion kick and the 7-0 lead.
Billerica started a drive that carried into the second quarter. The Indians went 83 yards on 17 plays.
Senior Rob Moore (16 carries for 50 yards) lugged the ball the final yard at 8:16 of the second quarter. The two-point conversion pass failed and they trailed 7-6.
After stopping Billerica at the Tewksbury 46, it took two plays for the hosts to reach the end zone. After a 10-yard scamper by senior fullback Jack Kelly, Connolly threw the first of his 3 touchdowns to Aylward for 44 yards. Keough made the score 14-6.
On the next possession Billerica was stopped at its own 44. Taking over, it took 3 plays for Tewksbury to add the third touchdown. Again it was Connolly to Aylward for 24 yards and the score. Keough made the score 21-6.
With 1:30 left in the first half, Billerica saw a very short kickoff to Nick Gualtieri and he ran 37 yards to the Redmen 33. On the first play Houlihan found a wide open Shawn Colby and he ran 33 yards for the score. Moore ran the two-point conversion in and the score was 21-14 with a minute to play in the half.
Using their remaining complement of timeouts, Tewksbury would go 64 yards in 4 plays for another score.
Connolly completed 3 passes totaling 42 yards on the drive. With 27 seconds left he threw a sideline lateral to Aylward. The halfback then threw a 22-yard scoring strike to Brincklow and the conversion kick made the score 28-14.
The Indians took the second-half kickoff and began play at their 48. On the first play Redmen linebacker Zachary Weltz pulled off the first of the 4 second-half sacks of Houlihan and the Indians were held to 3 downs and a punt.
Three additional sacks were credited one each to Tewksbury defenders Dylan Chandler, Trace Trant and Michael Woodford.
After a fair catch on a short punt at their 38, Tewksbury’s Connolly needed 5 plays to find the end zone a fifth time.
On first down at the Indians’ 34 he threw to his favorite target, Aylward, who went the distance for the score. Keough kicked his fifth conversion of the game and the 35-14 score. That would remain for the final 18 minutes.
Tewksbury had 386 total yards on the game, 279 in the first half alone. Jack Kelly led the running game with 9 carries for 27 yards.
The Redmen travel to Chelmsford next Friday at 7 p.m. Billerica will host Catholic Memorial also on Friday at 7.