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Notaro, defense propel Gaels; Senior goes out with 3-TD game.

Byline: Graham Entwistle

CLINTON - Three touchdowns by senior captain Matt Notaro sparked the Clinton High football team to a 32-7 win over Maynard yesterday.

The Gael defense also shared the spotlight, holding speedy Maynard junior running back Sean Peterson to 74 yards, and shutting out the Tigers for three quarters.

Clinton finished 4-7, while Maynard ended up 5-6.

With neither team headed to the playoffs, the game was played for bragging rights. The Gaels lead the series, 34-19-1.

Clinton drove 61 yards for a score on its first possession, helped by runs of 9 and 24 yards by junior Rony Noel. Noel finished the drive, which took just over four minutes, with a rush off left tackle for a 5-yard TD, and the Gaels led, 6-0.

Peterson got the Maynard offense off to a good start with an 8-yard gain on its first play from scrimmage, but the Tigers soon stalled and turned the ball over on downs.

Five plays later, with Clinton on the 50, Notaro hauled in a pass from senior quarterback Kyle Cutler to put the Gaels up, 12-0, with 1:29 remaining in the first quarter.

"The season didn't go the way we wanted it to," Notaro said, "but we took all the frustrations from the season and worked harder and harder this whole week, and just came out and got the win."

Early in the second quarter, senior defensive end Alex Santiago downed Maynard junior punter Preston Wilkey at the Tigers' 28 after a bad snap.

Notaro cashed in on the miscue, scoring his second touchdown on the Gaels' next play from scrimmage.

Notaro took Cutler's handoff, headed toward the right sideline, and then cut back and forth several times to avoid would-be tacklers during his 28-yard jaunt to the end zone.

Senior captain Matt McEvilly rushed for the 2-point conversion, and Clinton led, 20-0.

Maynard, which turned the ball over on downs on its first two possession of the first half, and punted on its next two, also had little success to begin the third frame.

The Tigers turned the ball over on downs at their own 46-yard line, and Clinton covered that distance in eight plays, capped by a 5-yard rush from Cutler for a touchdown and a 26-0 Gael advantage.

Maynard's scoring drought ended on its next possession when sophomore quarterback Zach Boerman threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to freshman Stephen Peterson early in the fourth quarter. Wilkey kicked the extra point, and Clinton led, 26-7.

Senior Sean Kilcoyne had a fumble recovery for Clinton in the fourth, and Peterson recorded an interception for Maynard, which then drove to the Gael 30.

However, Notaro put the game away when he intercepted a Boerman pass at his own 15-yard line and took it 85 yards for a commanding 32-7 lead, with 1:17 remaining.

According to coach Paul Constantino, Clinton focused all week in practice on stopping Peterson, who entered the game averaging more than 180 rushing yards per game.

"Clinton's defensive line was just flying off the ball," Maynard coach Harold Ogilvie said. "It was unbelievable.

"I was surprised by how good they really were. That was the best 3-7 team I've ever seen."
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Nov 23, 2012
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