Adding Insult to Injury, Tewksbury Falls to Central Catholic, 17-0
Redmen QB Sean Connolly leaves the game late in the first half, offense sputters.
The Tewksbury Redmen were dominated in all phases of the game as they were shut out, 17-0, by Central Catholic, Saturday at Lawrence's Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Tewksbury quarterback Sean Connolly left the game due to injury before the last drive of the first half. Kevin Saunders replaced him but failed to create any offense and was intercepted twice in the second half.
Connolly, who has been the centerpiece of a high-octane Tewksbury offense, did not appear seriously hurt and remained on the sideline for the remainder of the game. His status for next week's game is unclear.
Central Catholic's quarterback tandem of Ben Onett and Matt McDeermott each tossed a touchdown bomb of better than 50 yards to give the Raiders more than enough scoring to hand Tewksbury their second consecutive loss after a heartbreaking defeat against Andover last week.
Tewksbury's offense has been firing on all cylinders through the first three weeks of the season, averaging 32 points per game. This week, the Central Catholic defense shut the Redmen down completely and forced two interceptions.
With the loss, Tewksbury drops to 2-2.
Central Catholic improves to 2-2, recovering from consecutive losses to Dracut and St. John's Prep.
The Raiders scored on their first possession of the game. A long pass over the middle by Central Catholic went for 65 yards and put the Raiders out in front 7-0 with 5:30 remaining in the first quarter.
On their next possession the Raiders had a 55-yard touchdown run negated by a holding penalty. They settled for a field goal and headed to the locker room up 10-0.
Tewksbury punted twice on their first two possessions of the first half, and had the ball as the second quarter expired.
Saunders struggled in the second half, while Connolly was only able to watch from the sidelines.
The Redmen punted on their first possession of the half and turned the ball over on downs on their second.
That led to McDeermott's 55-yard scoring strike for Central Catholic. The wide receiver sprinted down the left sideline and caught the ball in full stride and easily ran into the end zone for a 17-0 lead late in the third quarter.
Tewksbury took possession after the touchdown and on their first play from scrimmage Kevin Saunders threw an interception to a Central Catholic defensive back.
Central Catholic could not capitalize on the turnover and punted back to Tewksbury for the start of the fourth quarter.
A personal foul stalled a solid drive and Tewksbury was forced to punt once again.
The Raiders, with good field position, ended up turning the ball over on downs giving Tewksbury another opportunity to score midway through the fourth quarter, but the Redmen went three and out against a stout Central Catholic defense.
Constant pressure on Saunders forced him to make throws earlier than he would have liked. Tewksbury running backs found very little room to work with as the Raiders' defensive line got penetration on almost every snap.
Tewksbury and their 2-2 record will host Billerica, Saturday afternoon at 2:30.