Leominster 33, St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 22

Friday, Sep. 13, 2013, at Leominster

It looks like the decision of Leominster High football coach Dave Palazzi to switch Neil O’Connor from wide receiver to quarterback this season was a smart one. O’Connor ran for three touchdowns and passed for a fourth to lift No. 1 Leominster past No. 2 St. John’s, 33-22, Friday night in the season opener for both teams in front of a large crowd at Doyle Field. O’Connor, a T&G All-Star receiver last season, sealed the victory by running 23 yards for the game’s final touchdown with 1:49 left. Leominster had a fourth and one and the Pioneers crowded the line to try to get a stop and earn a chance to pull out the victory, but O’Connor sprinted to the right, then down the sideline untouched. O’Connor missed a few plays late in the third quarter with cramps in both legs and wasn’t really 100 percent for the rest of the game, but he still had enough to get around the right side of the line and into the end zone to clinch the victory. “It helped that there was no one there,” O’Connor said. “So I could just jog into the end zone, but I felt it.”

St. John’s (Shrewsbury)077822
Second quarter
LeominsterTDJames Gurley 3-yard run (kick failed)
St. John’s (Shrewsbury)TDDrew Smiley 7-yard run (Jack Coveney kick)
LeominsterTDNeil O'Connor 13-yard run (Jarell Addo pass from Nick Xarras)
LeominsterTDJake Allain 18-yard pass from Neil O'Connor ( kick)
Third quarter
St. John’s (Shrewsbury)TDMichael McGillicuddy 7-yard pass from Drew Smiley (Jack Coveney kick)
LeominsterTDNeil O'Connor 1-yard run (pass failed)
Fourth quarter
St. John’s (Shrewsbury)TDDavon Jones 26-yard pass from Drew Smiley (Drew Smiley run)
LeominsterTDNeil O'Connor 23-yard run (Christian Lewis kick)


Updated: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, 10:08 a.m.

Schedules and results