Tough Loss for Middies
METHUEN -- Methuen held off Dracut’s fourth-quarter charge and prevailed Wednesday night, 26-20, at Nicholson Stadium at Methuen High School.
Methuen 26, Dracut 20
The series between the schools in this 56th meeting got even closer as Dracut holds a slim 27-26 lead. There have been three ties.
Dracut (5-5) opened the scoring with a 43-yard, seven-play drive in Rangers’ territory midway through the first quarter. On a first and 10 from the 19, a series of handoffs in the backfield saw the ball come to halfback Cameron McCullough, who threw a perfect 19-yard strike to junior wideout Shawn McGuire.
The conversion kick was just wide for the 6-0 lead.
Methuen (8-3) turned the offense over to swift junior running back Ricky Brutus (5 carries for 100 yards in the first half). He would score on TD runs of 35 and 26 yards. The two successful conversion kicks by junior Justin Sheehan made the score 14-6 at halftime.
The Rangers got the second-half kickoff but Dracut shut the door. The punt out of bounds found the Middies at their own 35. There followed a five-minute drive that took 10 plays. Senior captain Allyn French (13 carries for 104 yards) burst up the middle on a 19-yard scoring run. Kyle Durkin toed the conversion but Methuen led 14-13.
With 7:35 left in the game, Methuen junior quarterback Connor Bryant threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Kareem Coleman. The kick was wide as the Rangers led 20-13.
Methuen took advantage of an errant pass from senior quarterback Devin Lambert, whose pass was tipped and intercepted by senior Wesley Correa at the Rangers’ 48. The drive took seven plays highlighted by a fourth-down, 28-yard run from fullback Zack Bergeron.
The score came on a 3-yard plunge by Bryant. Bryant carried 28 times for 102 yards. A conversion kick failed and Methuen went ahead 26-13.
Dracut had 2:48 on the clock left. The Middies needed 1:04 to go 59 yards on the arm of Lambert. He threw four completions on the drive, the first three to the sidelines. The fourth was a 28-yard pass to Cameron McCullough for the score. The successful conversion kick by Kyle Durkin made it 26-20.
Lambert completed nine passes in 19 attempts for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
An unsuccessful onsides kick gave the Rangers the ball at midfield.
Dracut used all five timeouts as the Middies tried to stop Bryant, who ran the ball seven times and got three first downs in the drive.
Bryant completed 9 passes in 11 attempts to seven different receivers for a total of 110 yards. His 102 yards rushing gave him 212 yards total offense.