BILLERICA -- Wilmington High senior quarterback Andrew Sullivan scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 5:38 left in the game to lead the Wildcats to a dramatic 10-7 victory over Shawsheen Tech Friday night at the Charles H. Lyons Athletic Complex in the season opener for both teams.
Sullivan’s game-winning score, which came on a fourth-and-goal, capped a clutch 13-play, 58-yard drive and gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game after Shawsheen had taken an early 7-0 lead and then taken a 7-3 lead into halftime.
Wilmington senior running back Peter Marino (29 carries, 117 yards) did the bulk of the damage on the drive for the Wildcats, rushing for 37 yards and catching a pass for another six yards. But it was Sullivan who finished the job, falling just short of the goal line on the previous play, and then plunging in from inches out on fourth down.
Adam Bishop’s extra point made it 10-7 and the Wilmington defense held on from there to secure the victory in the non-league battle between the neighborhood rivals.
Shawsheen coach Craig Turner, in his second year, knows his team wasn’t perfect in this one, but he was happy to come away with a win.
“Being 1-0 feels a lot better than being 0-1,” Turner said. “We need to be more consistent, but we were tough and we fought, and I was happy with our effort and our ability to kind of hang in there.”
Shawsheen had taken the lead late in the first quarter when senior quarterback CJ Zemetres connected with junior wide receiver Conor Rich for an 83-yard touchdown pass with 1:46 left in the opening frame.
Zemetres’ pass was actually tipped by a Wilmington defender at about midfield, but Rich hauled in the deflection and out-raced everybody to the end zone for a 7-0 Shawsheen lead after Ryan Quinones booted the extra point.
Wilmington got on the board just before the end of the first half, going on a 14-play, 62-yard drive, and capping it off with a 31-yard field goal by Bishop with 46 seconds left in the half.