The Winthrop High School football team rallied from a 20-point deficit during a tremendous second-half comeback, but couldn’t overtake Rockland in the fourth quarter, falling, 37-34, in the Division 6 quarterfinals Thursday night in Rockland.
The Vikings had the ball in Rockland territory needing a field goal to tie or a touchdown to take the lead, but the Rockland defense stopped Winthrop on what would be its final possession of the game.
“We had our opportunities,” said Winthrop High School head coach Jonathan Cadigan. “But the story of the game is anytime you give up 27 unanswered points in between the second and third quarter, you’re probably not going to win the game. And that was disappointing because I know I have a good football team, and the second and third quarter, I don’t think that was the team I expected.”
Winthrop took the opening kickoff and marched right down the field, with Welvis Acosta scoring on a 7-yard run. Juan Sanchez’s PAT quickly made it 7-0.
But the host Bulldogs scored on a 30-yard pass play on their homefield that also serves as a baseball field. In fact, Cam Martin’s ensuing 5-yard touchdown was in essence a run down the field’s third base line into the end zone.
But with Winthrop ahead 14-7, the Bulldogs’ offense roared to 27 consecutive points, building a 34-14 lead early in the third quarter.
The Vikings fought back, with a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Robert Noonan and a 30-yard TD strike to Martin propelling the comeback. Joe Hayes’ block of a Rockland punt was also vital in the Vikings’ surge.
The Vikings’ defense also made a big play in the fourth quarter when defensive lineman Pete Jurovich bowled over a defensive lineman, forcing the quarterback to hurry his throw a bit, while defensive back Mikey Chaves blanketed the receiver, who had no choice but to catch the ball just out of bounds. Ian Harris also had a key tackle to prevent a Rockland first down in the fourth quarter.
But the Vikings, who scored more points against Rockland (7 points per game allowed) than any other opponent this season, were unable to complete their comeback with a score.
Winthrop (5-5) will travel to Revere (7-2) for the annual Thanksgiving game Nov. 25 at 10 a.m.