Govs hit high note, win title
Players gathered in a circle at midfield, held the championship trophy overhead, and belted out the timeless classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’’
Singers, they are not. Champions, they are.
Governor’s Academy capped a 9-0 season with a 35-0 win over New Hampton in the Jack Etter Bowl last night at Cushing Academy’s Quimby Field in Ashburnham.
“I’ve been around football for probably 28 years, and this is the best experience I’ve ever had,’’ said first-year head coach Jim O’Leary.
It seemed Governor’s could do no wrong last night. After stalling on a fourth down at New Hampton’s 8-yard line, the ISL champions got the ball back when Elijah Morrissey picked off a pass and returned it to the Huskies’ 28. Eight plays later, ISL co-MVP Tate Jozokos found tight end Colin Smith for a 6-yard score, giving Governor’s a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Struggling on offense for much of the quarter, the Huskies tried a trick play to generate some offense, and it backfired in a big way. Javar Coleman tried a halfback pass across the field to his quarterback, Jake Kiley. Governor’s linebacker Andrew Carper read the play, stepped in front of the pass, and returned it 55 yards for a 14-0 halftime lead.
“That was such a huge play,’’ O’Leary said. “We actually saw that look on film, and [Carper] did a great job to recognize the formation and make a play on it.’’
“I saw the throw come my way, so I sprinted, looked up, and just hoped to catch it, honestly,’’ Carper said. “I didn’t want to get caught from behind because I know those guys on offense are fast.’’
The second half proved to be more of the same. Morrissey finished a seven-play, 35-yard drive with a 14-yard run to make it 21-0 in the third. Frustrated, New Hampton (7-2) began making mental mistakes. Coleman had a lengthy return on the ensuing kickoff, but coughed up the ball at the Governor’s 30 before it was tracked down by Governor’s Ian Cook at the 22. Governor’s promptly went 78 yards in eight plays, capped by an 8-yard touchdown run by Samuel Davis, making it 28-0 after three.
“We score a lot of points so people think of us as an offensive team, but our defense is fantastic,’’ O’Leary said. “They are fast, physical and they love playing the game.’’
Two plays after Davis’s score, the Governors picked up another turnover, this one an interception by John Gould off a deflected Kiley pass. Everything went Governor’s way, including the final touchdown run by Davis in the fourth. Jozokos’s toss to his back deflected off the helmet of Morrissey and popped into the air before landing in Davis’s hands. Davis weaved his way through the defense for a 14-yard score that sealed the victory.
“This is something I dreamed about since I was 7 years old when I began in Pop Warner,’’ Morrissey said. “Our captains Sam [Davis], Todd [Moores], and Kirk [Ryder] guided us all year long, and it feels amazing to cap off an undefeated season like this.’’
West Roxbury 20, Brighton 18 - Michael Obianigwe racked up 225 yards rushing on 15 carries for the Raiders, and won it with a 19-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
Madison Park 18, Dorchester 14 - Isaiabrier White scored the deciding touchdown on a 50-yard scamper in the second quarter for the Cardinals. Kadeem Collins had two touchdowns for the visiting Bears, including a 50-yard return of a fumble.