WESTWOOD — Shayne Kaminski stood far behind the line of scrimmage as Xaverian kneeled out the clock, finally raising his arms in satisfaction as the clock ticked closer to zero.
It was the first break the running back/linebacker got all game, and was well-deserved after he ran the ball seven straight times to eat up the final 3:46 of the fourth quarter as Xaverian beat Attleboro, 35-28, to win the Division 1 South title and advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2009.
Xaverian (9-1) will face North champion Central Catholic (9-1) at Gillette Stadium Dec. 7.
“I was just trying not to get too excited,” Kaminski said. “There’s too many emotions going through my head right now. I’m just pumped to bring it to Gillette.”
Kaminski, who rushed for just 49 yards in the first half, dominated the second half with 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns that rescued Xaverian from a 21-7 deficit, sparking a run of 28 unanswered points.
“We came out in the second half and said we needed to run the football,” Xaverian coach Charlie Stevenson said. “Shayne was a monster. The second half belonged to Shayne.”
Senior captain Kaminski delivered the defining moment of the game in the fourth quarter, a play he said he’d remember for the rest of his life.
With his team trailing, 21-14, Kaminski took the ball off tackle and lost his cleat but never lost his step as he ran 37 yards for a touchdown that tied the game with 6:32 to play.
“That was credit to the offensive line,” Kaminski said. “That was the biggest hole I’ve seen all season. Shoe or no shoe, it’s expected of me to bring that to the house. If a shoe stopped me from scoring, that’s not good.”
Xaverian held Attleboro three and out on the next drive, and on the first play of the ensuing possession, quarterback Jake Farrell connected with tight end Nick Colantuoni for a 53-yard score and a 28-21 lead.
“We went into the first half and were getting beat up front, and we knew the offensive line was going to win us the game,” Farrell said. “We just got them in overpursuit, and Nick made a great catch and I had a lot of time to throw.”
Attleboro (8-2) started the next drive from its 12, and a holding call backed it up to the 6. Two plays later, Xaverian defensive back Damion Wood intercepted Tim Walsh’s pass at the 24 and returned it to the end zone to give Xaverian a 35-21 lead with 5:14 to go.
Walsh connected with Damon Belin for a 15-yard touchdown on the next drive to make it 35-28 before Xaverian drained the clock to seal the win.
Walsh threw a pair of touchdowns to Brenden Massey and Luke Morrison to give Attleboro a 14-7 halftime lead, and he fired a 38-yard strike to Tommy Burns that gave the Bombardiers a 21-7 lead with 9:46 to play in the third quarter.
Xaverian then drove 70 yards in eight plays — 54 gained by Kaminski. He capped the drive with an 18-yard score to make it 21-14 with 5:55 to go.