Lions to begin league schedule.
WEST BOYLSTON - At the midpoint of the season, the West Boylston/Tahanto Regional High School football team will begin its Division 3B league schedule this Friday night against Narragansett Regional.
The Lions, who lost 42-20 to Lunenburg last week, will travel to Templeton to take on the Warriors, with the kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Narragansett, 3-2 overall, lost 20-10 to Oakmont last week. In other games, the Warriors pocketed victories over St. Bernard's, Lunenburg and Groton-Dunstable, and lost to Clinton.
The Warriors, who lost to Clinton in last year's Division 3 Super Bowl, have a potent running game led by senior fullback Cody Savoy.
Savoy has scored 11 touchdowns and three conversions for 72 points thus far this season.
West Boylston head coach Dave Tinglof knows his team will have its hands full this week.
"Narragansett is a great team, with a great program," Tinglof said. "They run the wing-T for the offense, and they run a Bear defensive front.
"They had a close game (with common opponent) Clinton," he said. "We are going to work hard and have a good week of practice. We'll be ready."
West Boylston's game with Lunenburg featured many big plays, but not all of them benefited the Lions.
Despite two 80-yard touchdown runs by junior captain Colby Bostek, and a 59-yard scamper to pay dirt by junior split end Joe Dankwah, West Boylston/Tahanto couldn't overcome the Blue Knights last Friday night.
A large and enthusiastic crowd watched the game at Goodale Field. The Lions Pop Warner Tiny Mite, Mitey Mite, Junior Pee Wee and Pee Wee teams, and cheerleading squads, all performed at halftime.
Division 3B West Boylston fell to 1-4, while Lunenburg, a Division 3A team, improved to 2-3.
On the Blue Knights' first play from scrimmage, senior captain Michael Sullender pitched out to junior running back Joshua Trainque, who ran 52 yards for a touchdown.
Trainque booted the extra point, giving his team a 7-0 lead.
After West Boylston went three and out on its first possession, Lunenburg put together the longest drive of the game. It marched 55 yards in 14 plays, culminating in a Trainque 2-yard touchdown run.
After Trainque kicked his second extra point, the Blue Knights held a 14-0 advantage with 1:01 left in the first frame.
It only took 16 seconds for the Lions to pull within one touchdown. On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Bostek took a handoff from junior captain Dan Polnerow and motored around left end for an 80-yard touchdown.
The two-point conversion run was stopped, and Lunenburg owned a 14-6 lead at the end of one quarter.
The explosive nature of the game continued unabated in the second frame.
Trainque scored his third touchdown on a 27-yard pass from Sullender at the 9:28 mark of the quarter. The point-after kick failed, but the Blue Knights were ahead 20-6.
Less than three minutes later, Bostek was standing in the Lunenburg end zone after bolting 80 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown, his second of the contest.
Polnerow called his own number for the two-point conversion, and he busted up the middle into the end zone, making the score 20-14 Lunenburg.
Unfortunately for West Boylston, Trainque scored his fourth touchdown of the game on a 19-yard run with 2:52 left in the first half.
Sullender added the two-point conversion on a keeper, and the Blue Knights led 28-14 at halftime.
Lunenburg went on to score twice more in the second half on touchdowns by senior captain Troy Cutter and Trainque, his fifth score of the game.
After Trainque's touchdown, the Lions had a first down at their own 28-yard line as the third quarter ended. Runs by Bostek and freshman running back Alex Churchill then moved the ball to the Lions' 41.
On third and nine from the 41, Dankwah got the call and bolted down the left sideline for a 59-yard touchdown. The conversion run was stopped and, with 9:31 left in the game, Lunenburg held a 35-20 lead.
Bostek had a big night on the ground for the Lions, racking up 244 yards in 12 carries.
"There were a lot of big plays tonight, and that has been the story of our season," Tinglof said. "Many of the games we have lost have been on big plays.
"When you let up some special teams' touchdowns and a couple of big runs, it is hard to get them back," he said.
West Boylston has had difficulty this season converting on fourth down and short situations.
Faced with a fourth and three in the second quarter and fourth and two in the third frame, the Lions were unable to pick up a first down. Conversely, West Boylston has had some difficulty stopping opponents on third and fourth down.
"During our season, we have had a hard, difficult time converting or stopping on fourth down," Tinglof said. "When you are starting a lot of freshmen and sophomores, those are the kinds of hits you're going to take.
"We are playing young kids against some junior and senior (laden) teams," he added.
PHOTOG: Banner photo/GRAHAM ENTWISTLE
CUTLINE: West Boylston sophomore Tyler O'Day gets set for a play in a recent game.