A Statement Win for Relentless Knights
LUNENBURG -- There are all kinds of statement wins: beating your old Thanksgiving rival after not doing it for a few years; beating an old rival after not doing it for many years; and coming from behind to beat a team that has given you -- and you’ve given them -- fits in the past.
Friday night in Lunenburg, the Blue Knight football team put together an incredible statement win over visiting Narragansett Regional, 20-19.
The reason it was a statement? There’s a couple of them.
First, the Blue Knights have had difficulty with the Warriors in the past few years. It’s a tough game, and has ended up an L on the Lunenburg path to the playoffs -- or to miss the playoffs entirely. ’Gansett has always found ways to win, and almost found a way Friday.
Second, Lunenburg had trailed, 19-7, with just under five minutes remaining in the football game, after Damien Comeau found Myles Jacques for a 12-yard TD pass.
At that point, it looked pretty bleak. It looked like another L.
But these are a tough bunch of Blue Knights and they are relentless.
Longtime coach Steve Boone looked senior quarterback Chris Costich’s way just before he trotted out for an important drive.
“At that point, we knew we had to throw the football,” Boone said late Friday night, “and we were just spreading them out. We had five time outs left, and we knew we needed to get down to get a quick score.
“We had a quick conversation, and I basically told (Costich), ‘This is what you live for. This is what you want to do. This is why you want to play quarterback.’ Go out and take your team down and score.”
That’s what he did, getting big chunk plays to go the Knights’ way. In the end, Anthony Iannacci capped the drive with a 4-yard TD run, and after Cooper Mathews hit the PAT, Lunenburg was within five, 19-14 with 3:09 remaining.
“We tried to hit some big balls. That was a good drive. The kids blocked hard up front, and Costich hit his receivers,” Boone said.
Anyone who has followed Boone’s editions of the Blue Knights knows they like to utilize a steamroll onside kick. They used it several times in succession to keep a good Clinton team off the field a few years ago, and teams need to be ready for it.
It came -- but Narragansett recovered.
Three plays later, the Knights’ Donovan Powell came up with one of the biggest turnovers of the season -- so far -- as he picked Comeau off on third down. That set the hosts up first-and-10, near their own 30.
Costich fired two straight passes to Powell, good for 15 and 17 yards, respectively, before two passes to Colby Sprague to keep the chains moving.
Then the drive nearly stalled on two incomplete passes.
On third down, Costich connected on a 9-yard pass to Powell, leaving him just about half a yard shy of the first down.
Then Iannacci busted through the line on fourth down to give Lunenburg new life at the Narragansett 12.
Two plays later, Costich connected with Sprague again, this time in the left corner of the end zone with 30 seconds left.
Narragansett would drive down and have two chances at a game-winning field goal: the Warriors missed from 27 yards, wide left, but the Knights were lined up offside. Trying again from 22 yards and no time left on the clock, the kick was wide to the right.
“If you look back at history,” Boone said, “us and Narragansett always seem these kind of games. They’re a good team, well-coached... we just made a few more plays than they did.
“This is a big win for us, a big win, Not only for the year, but also for the program. Coming from behind, this gives our kids some confidence. It’s a program builder. We definitely (stole it). Down two scores, under five minutes left, it was a great effort by the kids and the coaching staff alike.”
Lunenburg will try for 5-0 next week against a solid West Boylston team.