The Winthrop High School football team saved its best performance for last, handing Newburyport is first conference loss in two years, 18-16, Sunday at World War Memorial Stadium.
Jordan Corbett-Frank scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 52 seconds remaining to cap off a 12-play, 73-yard game-winning touchdown drive.
It was a satisfying win for coach Sean Driscoll and his players who saw Newburyport extinguish the Vikings’ hopes for a title last year in the conference finale at Miller Stadium.
Winthrop (5-5) can now forge a winning season by beating Revere (5-4) in the annual Thanksgiving game.
Trailing 10-0 on rare late Sunday afternoon game, the Vikings could have packed it in and called it a day. Instead the Vikings stormed back with Dylan Driscoll scoring a 1-yard touchdown on the final play of the half.
Winthrop took a 12-10 lead early in the fourth quarter on Driscoll’s second TD. Newburyport returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown before the Vikings responded with its well-executed drive, highlighted by a key third-down reception by David Capone.
“It was great to see the confidence in our players’ eyes before and during the winning drive,” said Sean Driscoll.
Senior lineman Dan Feeley showed his All-Star credentials in the penultimate game of his outstanding career.
“Danny Feeley was outstanding for us on both sides of the football,” said Driscoll.
Ruben Powell had seven carries for 52 yards and kept up his reputation as one of the league’s best special teams/return artists. David Gallo delivered the power yardage on 10 carries for 66 yards.
“Dave Gallo really set the tone for the game in the second half with some powerful runs,” said Driscoll.
Sophomore Tyler Gillis was one of the defensive standouts, continuing to raise his level of play each week, a development that bodes well for next year’s outlook.
“Tyler played his best game of the year,” said Driscoll.
Tommy Lund and Eric Castro also drew commendations from Driscoll for their contributions in holding Newburyport to a field goal on offense (An INT return and kickoff return accounted for the other points).
“We just got the whole package going against Newburyport for the first time, a good offensive performance and a great defensive performance,” said Driscoll.
The Vikings’ coach added that his team showed tremendous heart against the Clippers.
“I liked the way kids responded especially in the second half,” said Driscoll. “It would have been easier down 10-0 to pack it in and get ready for Thanksgiving. Instead this team stepped it up in a very physical, hard-fought game.”
The Vikings have begun preparations for their traditional holiday game with Revere, who is looking to claim its own winning season.’