Leominster 41, Shepherd Hill 14

Friday, Sep. 27, 2013, at Dudley

Leominster High had a hard time breaking an old habit Friday night. The Blue Devils, ranked No. 1 in the Hometeam media poll, proved their running attack was as potent as any in the area, but, in the end, it was three big pass plays that made the difference. Leominster pitched second-half shutout and got a boost from three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Neil O’Connor to emerge with a 41-14 win over host Shepherd Regional. Leading, 20-14, at halftime, the Blue Devils (3-0) struck for a pair of big plays in a four-minute span of the third quarter to put a safe distance between themselves and the No. 5 Rams (2-1). Junior running back James Gurley sprinted 64 yards to put Leominster ahead, 26-14, with 5:38 left in the third. After forcing a Rams’ punt, the Blue Devils padded their lead when O’Connor rolled to his right and fired a strike to Mayson Williams in the right corner of the end zone for a 39-yard score. Connor’s conversion rush made it 34-14 with just over a minute left in the third. “Shepherd Hill is a tough physical team, and they came out and executed a great game plan,” said Leominster coach Dave Palazzi, whose team faces Wachusett Regional next week. “We were able to hit them with a few big plays, and I think our defense shutting (Shepherd Hill) out in the second half was huge.”

Shepherd Hill860014
First quarter
LeominsterTDJake Allain 47-yard pass from Neil O'Connor (rush failed)
Shepherd HillTDDrew Jean-Guillaume 11-yard run (Drew Jean-Guillaume run)
LeominsterTDJames Gurley 3-yard run (pass failed)
Second quarter
LeominsterTDMayson Williams 57-yard pass from Neil O'Connor (Rob Melendez run)
Shepherd HillTDDrew Jean-Guillaume 1-yard run (rush failed)
Third quarter
LeominsterTDJames Gurley 64-yard run (rush failed)
LeominsterTDMayson Williams 39-yard pass from Neil O'Connor (Christian Lewis run)
Fourth quarter
LeominsterTDEd Rivera 4-yard run (Christian Lewis kick)


Updated: Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, 4:38 p.m.

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