Vikings Hold Off Monty Tech in Thriller
WESTFORD -- Nashoba Tech senior Luke McKenna scored on touchdown runs of 60 and 52 yards, the latter proving to be the difference in an 18-14 win over Monty Tech on Thanksgiving Eve.
With his team down, 14-12, late in the fourth quarter, McKenna took a pitch to the left and swept around the corner, outracing three defenders to the end zone. McKenna finished with 130 yards on 13 carries and was named co-Player of the Game for the Vikings (7-4), along with two-way lineman Sean Thomas.
Monty Tech (3-8), had one final chance. Starting at their own 20 with 2:18 left on the clock, the Bulldogs marched deep into Viking territory with an opportunity to pull out the win. Much of that yardage came on the legs of Damitrius Sayarath. Playing his final high school game, Sayarath made it memorable. The bruising, 210-pound running back finished with 183 yards on 27 carries and was named his team’s Player of the Game.
″(Sayarath) was just a beast tonight. He was running so hard,” said Monty Tech coach Anthony Secino. “I know he wanted to win this game so badly, to go out with a win. He’s a great kid and I’m really going to miss him.”
Monty Tech quarterback TJ Farr also came up big on the final drive. A 13-yard completion to Chad Brouillet and a 12-yard pass to Matteo Serrano moved the ball to the Nashoba Tech 19-yard line with under a minute to play. A 12-yard run by Serrano gave the Bulldogs a first-and-goal at the 7 with just over 30 seconds left.
But a storybook ending was not in the cards for Monty Tech. A false start penalty moved them back 5 yards and Sayarath was stopped for a short gain. With 15 seconds left, a bad snap resulted in a loss of 4, and an illegal procedure call cost them 5 more yards.
Still, with 2 seconds on the clock, Monty Tech had one more snap, only to see Farr’s pass float just out of reach of a diving Brouillet at the goal line.
“We came in feeling like we could beat this team,” said Secino. “It’s tough to play in these (weather) conditions. But our kids played hard right to the end. It was just a couple of big plays they had, playing some bad angles.”
Monty Tech found itself playing catch-up right out of the gate. On Nashoba Tech’s first play from scrimmage, McKenna broke free on a sweep around right end and scored on a 60-yard run. The conversion attempt failed and the Vikings had to settle for a 6-0 lead.
The Bulldogs answered on their opening possession, though not with quite the same flair. Sayarath capped off a 10-play, 65-yard drive with a 1-yard TD plunge. The 2-point conversion attempt failed and the score was tied, 6-6.
It stayed that way through halftime, as both defenses tightened up against the run and the sub-freezing temperatures and strong wind gusts made the passing game next to impossible. Linebacker Gabriel Baczewski had a huge game on defense for Monty Tech. Linebacker Peter Yeboah, defensive end Kyle Stewart and tackle McGuire Favreau also played well.
Nashoba Tech retook the lead in the third quarter. Junior quarterback Jose Soba (10 carries, 101 yards) capped a 53-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to put the Vikings on top, 12-6.
Monty Tech answered with the drive of the game. Starting at their own 14-yard-line, the Bulldogs marched 86 yards in 13 plays, with Farr scoring on an option-keeper from 19 yards out. Sayarath rumbled in for the 2-point conversion and Monty Tech had its first lead, 14-12, with 5:09 to play.
But the lead was short-lived. On Nashoba Tech’s next possession, backup quarterback Tyler Aldon connected with John Fraser on a 22-yard pass play to convert a third-and-6. That set up McKenna for his game-winning, 52-yard touchdown run.