SWAMPSCOTT - It was a game that went back-and-forth until time would allow it to do so no longer.
Winthrop scored a go-ahead touchdown with just less than three minutes remaining, but Chris Cameron and Swampscott had the final say. The Big Blue orchestrated a 10-play, 64-yard drive that was capped by Cameron's 3-yard run with 30 seconds to play, giving Swampscott a 34-32 win yesterday in a Northeastern Conference Small contest.
"It was just two teams that were battling until the end, and we just had a little bit more left in the tank," Swampscott coach Stephen Dembowski said. "It was just a great game, and we were fortunate to score and not leave them enough time to get the ball launched. That's the way it goes. There's only 44 minutes."
The teams swapped leads three times in the fourth quarter after Swampscott (6-1, 1-0) surged back from a 19-7 halftime deficit. Cameron (12 for 18, 233 yards) put the Big Blue ahead early in the quarter when he faked a handoff and scored for a 28-25 lead. Winthrop was forced to punt on its ensuing possession, and Swampscott looked like it was in position to run out the clock. With about six minutes left, though, Cameron threw to Peter Yasi, who caught the pass, but was hit and the ball popped lose and was intercepted by Nick McCarthy.
Winthrop took advantage of the second opportunity, and responded on a Will Milano 51-yard touchdown pass, as Milano hit Matthew Moore in stride along the right sideline, giving Winthrop a 32-28 lead. Swampscott wasn't finished and Cameron completed 3 passes on the final drive for 38 yards and ran for 11 more to put his team on top.
"I just wanted the ball in Chris's hands as much as possible, and that's the bottom line," Dembowksi said.
Winthrop was led by the tandem of Milano and Moore. Milano had 202 yards passing and found Moore for both of Winthrop's final two scores. Chris Beranger ran for 137 yards.
"It came down to the last man with the ball," Winthrop coach Sean Driscoll said. "They're a good team. They're a championship team. They've been in tough spots before, and maybe we haven't been in tough spots yet. That's just maturity. They had a great game down the stretch."
"Our kids just didn't quit," added Dembowski. "And neither did theirs. We were just fortunate to not leave them enough time."