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Westford A Team 15 – Dracut 18
The Westford Jr. Ghosts Patriot A division team lost its season opener 18-15 in a tight match against the Dracut Middies.
Dracut scored first by racking up two early touchdowns, but missed the extra points
for both. Philip Sutherland was first to put Westford on the board with a 61-yard reception for a touchdown. Sutherland’s score was followed by a successful point after kick by Adam Ohanian to cut Dracut’s lead and bring the score to 12-8.
Dracut scored another touchdown, but minutes later Andrew Ha stripped the ball from the Dracut QB and recovered the fumble. Ha’s outstanding effort on defense set up a second touchdown for Westford, scored by Logan Wendt. A successful point after conversion by Connor Graham made the score 18-15.
Westford quarterback Stephen Tubianosa moved the ball well, alternating effectively between passes and runs. Offensive guard Andrew Morel provided solid blocking to help move the ball down the field. Westford’s defense held strong with help from Justin Quinton, who had key stops on run defense and sacked the Dracut quarterback at the end of the third quarter.
Sutherland had a 20-yard pass reception in the final seconds of the game that moved the Jr. Ghosts close to the goal line, but there was just not enough time left to punch through for the final touchdown.
Westford B Team 8, Dracut 34
The Westford Jr. Ghosts B team was blitzed by Dracut Sunday in their season opener at Westford Academy. Westford’s only points of the day came when Mikey Kennedy stripped the Dracut running back and took the ball 70 yards the other way for the touchdown. Justin Loker added the point after kick. Kennedy added a great leaping catch over the middle later in the game. Devin Crogan and Rowan Ruggiero each added an interception on defense.
Westford C Team 0, Dracut 22
The Jr. Ghosts C team opened its season against a tough Dracut team. After a slow start, Westford buckled down and shut out Dracut in the second quarter. The quarter was highlighted by a goal line stand at the end of the half by Jack Gould, Andrew Bonczek, James Decelles, Cole Stickel, Tadgh Murray, Bode Hester, Kyle Murray, Joey Bella, and Nick Manzi.
Other defensive highlights included a strip by Jacob Moore and fumble recoveries by Kyle Murray and Jared Simas. Defensive end Elliot Bradley, linebackers Michael Witkum and T. Murray, cornerbacks K. Murray and Ben Gomez, and safety Ethan Ewing made several critical tackles throughout the day to slow a potent Dracut offense.
Solid runs from Ewing, Ryan Walsh, Gomez, Hester and T. Murray helped Westford move the ball downfield. Deep passes to Cole Barisano, Connor Moncreaff, and Bella were nearly converted to touchdowns but covered well by the Dracut defense.
The Westford Jr. Ghosts C team plays next Sunday, September 20th in Reading at 11:00am.
Westford D Team 12, Dracut 14
For its first game of the season, the Westford D team, led by captains Luke Reynolds, Drew Wilson, Nate Brown, Ryan Blagg and Luke Fremault, enjoyed home field advantage against Dracut. In one of the first offensive drives of the game, Luke Fremault took a handoff 50 yards for the first Westford touchdown. Ryan Blagg, Bobby MacCormack, Tyler Murray and Drew Wilson dominated on defense and forced several turnovers. Reynolds made a key interception to regain possession for Westford as the first half came to a close.
Second half action included aggressive tackling by Westford’s defenders Daniel Hickey and Jason Pillion to force more turnovers. T.J. Kane came up with a drive-saving fumble recovery. Offensive blocking by Michael Picanso, Thurman Hargrove, Henry Babineau and Connor Gleason helped Westford gain great field position. Drew Wilson made an amazing fumble recovery in the fourth quarter to regain possession.
Reynolds shot a quick pass to Ryan Blagg who sped into the end zone for the second Westford touchdown.
Westford Jr. Ghosts D Team plays in Reading on Sunday, September 20th at 9:30.
Westford Jr. Ghosts E Team
The Westford Jr. Ghosts E Team, also known as the “Mighty Mites,” started the
season with a bang against the Dracut Middies. Honorary Captain Matthew Davidopolous began the game with a 50-yard dash in his wheelchair, escorted by his older brother Noah around the end and down the sideline for the score.
Just months after he was born, Matthew was diagnosed with Type 1 spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, a congenital disease that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe.
A video of Matthew’s touchdown can be downloaded here.
In a great gesture of sportsmanship, the Middies presented Matthew with a helmet signed by all the players.
When action resumed, the Jr. Ghosts gave up an early score to the Middies but the game turned quickly to an all-Westford affair. QB Quinn Reynolds took the reins and and led the Ghosts up the field for their first score, punched in by Andrew Stodden. Stodden also also caught the extra point.
Later in the half, Stodden uncorked an amazing run for his second touchdown. James McDermott contributed big runs, aided by solid offensive line blocking by Odin Scott, Gavin Dean, Tyler Schutt, and brothers Tony and Leo Babineau — nearly all of whom were outweighed by the Middies defensive line. Quinn Reynolds saved a broken run play and took the ball into the end zone for a third Jr. Ghosts touchdown.
As the game wound down, the Jr. Ghosts defense needed to hold the Middies and came up strong. Justin Davighi had six key defensive stops at defensive end, and Mason Bergeron, Micah Carsto, Bruce Davies, Jack Lafond and Teddy Nordhougen anchored a tough Westford defense that shut down the Middies late in the game.