ABINGTON - Abington capitalized on a pair of first-half turnovers and it proved to be enough as the Green Wave topped Mashpee, 14-6, last night and clinched the South Shore League title and a spot in the Division 3 playoffs.
Mashpee's defense stifled Abington on its first two possessions, forcing three-and-outs. The Falcons jumped out to a 6-0 first-quarter lead when Larry Green found a hole on the right side from the 12-yard line and burst through.
But a Falcon fumble recovered by Chris Dion with 46.9 seconds to go in the first quarter swung momentum. The Green Wave scored four plays later. On the first play of the second quarter, Abington quarterback Steve Perakslis hit Dion on a short pass and Dion darted up the right sideline, breaking a tackle for a 48-yard touchdown. Pat Gabriele converted a two-point conversion run to give Abington an 8-6 lead.
The teams traded possessions three more times in the quarter, then Mashpee marched to the Abington 34, but with 22 seconds remaining, Abington intercepted a Mashpee pass. Abington took advantage of the turnover, working its way to the 49-yard line before executing a game-changing play. On a hook-and-ladder play that Abington coach Jim Kelliher said was called by his offensive coordinator, Perakslis connected with Dion for about 15 yards, and Dion pitched it as he was getting hit to Kristian LaPointe, who took it 33 yards for the score, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
"It's the old Boise State play. If you give it to Kristian out in the open like that, he has a chance, and he did it,' Kelliher said.
After allowing Mashpee to score on its opening drive, the Abington defense didn't allow the Falcons much for the rest of the game. The Green Wave secondary stifled the Mashpee passing attack. Mashpee quarterback Matt Ball completed 3 of 15 passes for 21 yards. Kelliher praised his defense after the game.
"I thought we played an awesome game, particularly defensively," he said.
Perakslis threw for 116 yards and two touchdowns, and, perhaps more importantly, had two interceptions. Dion had three receptions for 55 yards.
Abington will play the winner of the Tri-Valley League in its first-round playoff game. The Green Wave lost to TVL champion Medfield in last year's semifinals.