For the first time since 2001, the Winthrop Vikings football season ended with a loss on the field, after the Revere Patriots rallied in overtime to beat Winthrop 28-22 in Revere. The ending overshadowed a stellar fourth quarter effort by the Vikings that saw the visitors score twice to tie the game at 22, and force the overtime period.
â€œI give my kids credit for hanging in there and fighting like they did,â€ said head coach Sean Driscoll. â€œIt wouldâ€™ve been very easy for them to just give up a little in the fourth quarter, down by two touchdowns, but they refused to do that. I just wish the ending had been a little better.â€
Winthrop opened the scoring at the beginning of the second quarter, when senior receiver James (JP) Doherty caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback James Barker. Senior tailback Nick McCarthy converted the two-point attempt and Winthrop had an 8-0 lead.
Unfortunately, that was the high point of the Vikingsâ€™ first half, as Revere senior running back Trae Weathers took over from there, scoring two touchdowns and one two-point conversion to give Revere a 14-8 halftime lead.
â€œWe had a tough second quarter, after just an OK first quarter,â€ said Driscoll. â€œI thought we made a lot of mistakes, missed some plays that were there for us and they took advantage of it.â€
After struggling some more through most of the third quarter as well, Winthrop fell behind 22-8 on the third touchdown run by Weathers on the day. Thatâ€™s when Winthropâ€™s leaders stepped up and took control of the game.
â€œI thought that Nick McCarthy, Nick Doonan and JP Doherty all had outstanding games,â€ said Driscoll. â€œNick McCarthy seemed to get stronger as the game went on, and in the fourth quarter he was making all of the plays for us.â€
McCarthy finished the game with 162 yards on 25 carries, one touchdown and 2 two-point conversions. Doherty added 108 receiving yards, including the touchdown catch and Doonan was a force on the defensive line in the fourth quarter, helping Winthrop climb back into the game by keeping Revere from scoring again.
Trailing 22-8 in the fourth quarter, McCarthy was the workhorse, moving the ball down the field and setting up Barkerâ€™s one-yard touchdown run to make the score 22-14. A failed two-point conversion left the score at 22-14 and then McCarthy stepped up big again.
Kicking off after the touchdown, McCarthy successfully executed an on-sides kick, which he also recovered, giving Winthrop the ball and a chance to tie the game. A few plays later McCarthy scored on a five-yard touchdown run and then added the two-point conversion to tie the game and force the overtime.
After the game, Driscoll said that he regretted not trying to kick the extra point after the first fourth quarter touchdown, acknowledging that if they had converted the kick, the score would have been 22-15, and a touchdown and two-point try would have won the game, instead of setting up the overtime.
â€œItâ€™s something Iâ€™m going to have to live with as head coach,â€ said Driscoll. â€œNot knowing if we couldâ€™ve converted the extra-point kick and set ourselves up for the win instead, itâ€™s something that Iâ€™ll be thinking about all off season.â€