The comeback

By Jim Lederman

With less than six minutes remaining in the game, Revere had a 22-8 lead. “We could have tossed in the towel and give up,” said coach Sean Driscoll. What transpired was a courageous “comeback” for the Winthrop Vikings.

The Revere Patriots had the ball and after three plays they were forced to punt. The successful punt was called back because of a false start and the Patriots were forced to punt a second time.

The ball bounced off the Winthrop returned and Revere recovered the fumble. However, Revere was penalized for touching Nick McCarthy prior to the return. The result of the penalty was the Vikings with control of the ball at the Revere 48.

Eight plays later, junior quarterback Jimmy Barker ran a one-yard sneak to get into the end zone. The extra point conversion pass Barker to captain Joe Boudrow was unsuccessful and the Vikings were within striking distance at 22-14.

On the ensuing kickoff, captain Nick McCarthy executed a perfect onside kick and recovered the pigskin. Another eight plays later, “Nick Mack” found the end zone from five yards out. McCarthy’s two-point conversion knotted the score at 22 with 1:35 remaining in the game. There was bedlam on the Vikings sideline. Fourteen points-another great Vikings “comeback.”

The momentum continued as Jimmy Barker came up with the only interception of the game to give the Vikings possession on the Revere 45.

This is where the “questionable” scoreboard clock took over. The clock showed 30 seconds to play and did not stop until six seconds were left. The Winthrop coaches and entire Winthrop fans were screaming at the timekeeper.

The Vikings had a third down and lined up for a 33-yard field goal. “We could have had two plays to win the game,” said coach Driscoll. The field goal was blocked.

In overtime, Revere won the toss and elected to take possession (each team gets the ball at the 10-yard line with a chance to score). Revere captain Trae Weather (29-257 yards- four touchdowns) scored from the one-yard line after a Winthrop penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, put the ball one-yard short of the goal line on third down. The two-point conversion failed. The Vikings could not score in overtime and the final score: Revere – 28 Winthrop – 22. Revere broke a 21-game losing streak on Thanksgiving.

“I thought we had a chance to pull this one out,” said coach Driscoll. “This is the end of a bad season (2-9) for us, and it was not where we wanted to be this season.”

Barker finished with 140 yards passing with nine completions in 20 attempts. Jimmy connected with J.P. Doherty on a pretty 41-yard touchdown pass to give the Vikings an early 8-0 lead.

McCarthy finished with 115 yards on 25 carries. Nick finished the season with 856 yards and 77 points.

McCarthy was named a NEC South All-Star on offense. Captain Nick Doonan was named to the NEC South All-Defense team at tackle for the third consecutive season.

Swampscott junior quarterback Michael Walsh was named NEC Official Player of the Year. Walsh tossed 19 touchdown passes.

Extra Points

Speaking about extra points, the Vikings need to develop a solid extra-point field goal kicker for 2011. Nick Leonard kicked 55 extra points in the super bowl season (2006) and in 2007, his field goal defeated Salem (3-0).

Swampscott defeated Marblehead 21-20. The difference in the game was Steve Page’s three extra points. Marblehead scored a touchdown with no time on the clock and the “Magicians” conversion pass was knocked down in the end zone.

The courage of Anthony Hatzisavas and Joe Boudrow to play on Thanksgiving was extra special. “Hatzi” came back from a back injury that sidelined him for seven games. Captain Joe had a leg injury and played the entire game on defense.

Gloucester defeated Danvers 43-0 to run their winning streak to 24. The NEC record is still held by the 1981-1983 Vikings 33 games and two “super bowl” titles. The Fishermen played Lincoln-Sudbury in the playoffs on Tuesday.

Hats off to Johnna Fisher for filming the game for coach Driscoll and Viking TV (channel 15).

Speaking of Viking TV, it was another exciting season with my play-by-play announcer Al Petrilli. It was the first game Al announced at his old high school field. You can watch the thrilling game on channel 15 this week.

The turkey day game brought back memories of another great “comeback”, the 2007 game at Miller Field, the Vikings trailed 14-0 in the first half. With two minutes to play the Vikings trailed Revere (22-21) before Will Milano connected with Chris Beranger in the corner of the end zone.

Speaking about Chris Beranger, he had a fantastic game with the UNH Wildcats victory over Towson. Chris had nine tackles and is on the kickoff receiving team. UNH is playing Bethune Cookman in the playoffs on Saturday, in Orlando, Florida.

Condolences to the family of Ralph Hodgkins. The ex-WHS football player was a fullback on the 1958 Winthrop team.

Congrats to the Lady Vikings Powder Puff team on their 30-26 victory over Saugus. Johnna Fisher tossed a 55-yard touchdown to Andrea Martucci for the first touchdown. Alyssa Moore scored two touchdowns and Haley Benson returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown.

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