Merrimack grinds out 17-7 win over Sacred Coronary heart as protection guidelines the day
When Virginia prolonged its result in 14 factors on a 39-yard Hail Mary cross as time expired within the first half Saturday at Alumni Stadium, it appeared as if Boston School was destined for one more uninspiring loss.
As a substitute, BC performed impressed soccer within the second half, rallying to earn a 27-24 victory. The Eagles (2-3, 1-2 ACC) scored 17 straight factors to take the lead and delivered within the clutch, turning a 21-7 halftime deficit into an uneven but needed win.
“They simply refused to lose this recreation,” BC coach Jeff Hafley mentioned. “That needs to be our mentality.”
Two native merchandise helped seal the end result. Leominster’s Liam Connor nailed the profitable 42-yard discipline purpose with 2:11 to play, then a former Catholic Memorial star, freshman Max Tucker of Hyde Park, made an important sort out on third down and the ultimate cease on fourth down.
The Cavaliers (0-5, 0-2) outgained the Eagles, 267-120, within the first half. Boston School outgained Virginia, 266-39, within the second. The BC protection exceeded its season whole coming in with 5 sacks and allowed none, seizing momentum and dominating the road of scrimmage when it mattered most.
“We knew we got here out sluggish. We knew we needed to decide it up,” BC quarterback Thomas Castellanos mentioned. “That’s what we did. We simply saved preventing.”
Virginia took a 7-0 edge on a 5-yard landing cross from Tony Muskett to Mike Hollins four-plus minutes into the sport. UVA then capitalized on an interception thrown by Castellanos (16 for 26, 183 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs), as Muskett discovered Malik Washington for an 18-yard TD strike early within the second for the 14-point benefit.
The Eagles pieced collectively a five-play, 65-yard drive in simply 45 seconds, capped by a 2-yard plunge from Pat Garwo, to trim the margin to 14-7 with 47 seconds left within the half. As poorly because it had performed to that time, BC was down by only one rating and seemed to be carrying momentum into the second half.
Then the Cavaliers drove 80 yards and struck gold on an unbelievable heave from Muskett to Malachi Fields. The Eagles had three defenders within the space, however Fields elevated and snared the TD reception in site visitors.
“That’s a narrative for an additional day,” Hafley mentioned of the Hail Mary.
Although the Virginia lead was simply 21-7 at halftime, it felt like a backbreaker for a spiraling BC workforce that allowed 56 factors in a loss every week earlier at Louisville.
However the Eagles responded, outscoring the Cavaliers, 17-0, within the third for considered one of their greatest quarters of the season. Connor drilled a 42-yard discipline purpose, Castellanos discovered Joe Griffin for a 4-yard TD, and an Elijah Jones interception arrange a 33-yard scoring feed from Castellanos to standout Lewis Bond.
Bond, who has been arguably BC’s greatest participant up to now, continued his latest tear with a seven-catch, 104-yard efficiency. He helped the Eagles take a 24-21 edge into the fourth.
“We simply acquired scorching,” Bond mentioned. “I’m telling you, we’re a very good offense, we’re a very good workforce. We simply can’t begin sluggish. We are able to’t get in our personal method.”
A scary scene unfolded lower than a minute into the ultimate quarter. BC extensive receiver Ryan O’Keefe and Virginia cornerback Malcolm Greene collided and remained down on the bottom for an prolonged time period.
Greene finally walked off beneath his personal energy. O’Keefe stayed immobile for near 10 minutes, as over a dozen medical professionals tended to him. Finally, he was carted off on a stretcher. O’Keefe gave a thumbs-up as he headed into the tunnel.
A supply instructed the Globe that O’Keefe suffered a suspected neck harm, was steady on the sector, and was transported to Massachusetts Normal Hospital for extra testing.
“That’s the darkish facet of the sport,” BC defensive finish Donovan Ezeiruaku mentioned. “Praying for him. He was speaking to us whereas he was going off. That’s our brother. We’re going to have his again.”
The temper was somber all through the stadium. When the groups returned to motion, Garwo fumbled and the Cavaliers capitalized with a 44-yard discipline purpose from Will Bettridge that tied it at 24 with 7:10 remaining.
BC responded in profitable trend. Castellanos discovered Bond for a 33-yard completion, then Garwo transformed on fourth and 1 to maintain the drive afloat. Connor took care of the remainder of the offense, then on protection Tucker completed what the Eagles began.
“He’s relentless, he’s powerful, he’s not scared, he’s bodily,” Hafley mentioned of Tucker. “The blokes love him due to that. For him to come back in and play in his first school recreation, it doesn’t shock me as a result of that’s who he’s in follow.”
The comeback from a 14-point halftime deficit was the most important for the Eagles since a rally towards West Virginia in 1997.
Whereas not a glamorous win, it was a major one for BC. After turning round a recreation that went within the flawed course with a superb second half, the Eagles might find yourself salvaging their season.
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