Lions let out a Super roar; West Boylston tops 'Gansett.
ASHBURNHAM - West Boylston High is headed to the Super Bowl.
Now there's a line that hasn't been written in 24 years.
With a hard-fought, 14-7 victory over fourth-seeded Narragansett Regional last night in a Division 5 semifinal at Oakmont Regional, the top-seeded Lions are off to the big dance on Saturday. West Boylston, which rallied from a 7-6 halftime deficit, will play Leicester High at a time and site to be announced.
"This is great," senior fullback Mike Pace said. "We missed the playoffs by one point last year and this year we wanted to come back and get it done. It's been our mission all season."
Added West Boylston senior tackle and co-captain Tyler O'Day, who made a key late-game stop on the Warriors on a crucial fourth-and-1 play: "Not only is this the first time in 24 years we're in a Super Bowl, but it's only the second time in school history we've ever been in the playoffs.
"It's unbelievable. We had a lot of determination."
"It was a great game," West Boylston coach Dave Tinglof said after his team's 11th win of the season against a single loss. "These guys have worked hard all year, and our defense kept us in the game. We held them off in the second half."
After missing the extra point on their first touchdown, the Lions needed a rally.
"We knew we had to come back strong," Tinglof said. "Our second touchdown was huge."
Junior Devin Desautels scored the winning TD midway through the third quarter on an end sweep.
On its second possession in the first quarter, after an exchange of punts, Narragansett - which had lost to West Boylston in the regular season - took a 7-0 lead.
Staying with a solid ground game, the Warriors drove 58 yards in six plays, keyed by sophomore running back Joe O'Neil. With 3:21 left from the 1-yard line, junior quarterback Jon Lashua bolted over for the TD. Scott Favreau booted the extra point.
Midway through the second quarter, after a flea-flicker fullback option pass from Pace to Bryan Hayes that covered 41 yards to the Narragansett 25, Pace broke loose for the TD. The Lions' extra-point kick failed, however, and the Warriors led at the half, 7-6.
West Boylston's go-ahead touchdown came on Desautels' 6-yard run with 7:05 left in the third quarter. Steven Gould connected with Ben Tasker for the 2-point conversion and a 14-7 lead that held up.
Narragansett threatened in the fourth quarter, but couldn't sustain its drives, just missing by inches on a fourth-and-1 when Cam Savoy was stopped by O'Day as the clock ticked under two minutes left.
"It's been a very special year for us," said Tinglof, who turns 39 on Saturday, the day of the Super Bowl. "I was only 15 years old back in 1988, but I remember that (Super Bowl) game. Being from Marlboro, I remember West Boylston playing Assabet. Now, this Saturday, I'm hoping for a Super Bowl gift on my birthday."
"I'm very proud of these kids, and I'm proud of our football program," Narragansett coach John Beary said after his team's fourth straight trip to the playoffs. "Our seniors, especially, they've raised the bar here at Narragansett. They know how hard you have to work to be successful. I'm very proud to be their football coach, win or lose."
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|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Date:||Nov 28, 2012|
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