PHOTOS: Redmen Drop Heartbreaker On Opening Day, 15-12
Tewksbury High jumps out to an early lead but can't hold on against Lincoln-Sudbury.
What looked like a picture perfect start to the 2012 high school season turned to heartbreak, as Tewksbury High fell to Lincoln-Sudbury, 15-12, Saturday afternoon at Doucette Field.
The Warriors' Chris Giorgio plowed over from two yards out with 1:20 left to play to complete a 93-yard game-winning touchdown drive and complete a rally from a 12-0 deficit.
Tewksbury started the game in perfect fashion as Eddie Matovu returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and a quick 6-0 lead. Matovu also played a huge game defensively, with three sacks.
"As talented as (Eddie) is, he's also a great kid," said Tewksbury Coach Brian Aylward. "And he is as hard of a worker as there is on this team."
But in a huge 4-point swing, Giorgio intercepted Aylward's conversion pass attempt and returned it 95 yards the other way for Lincoln-Sudbury's first two points of the game.
Tewksbury's defense played an outstanding first half, led by Matovu and Joe Poli and the Redmen carried a 12-2 lead into halftime. James Sullivan carried ball sic times for 61 yards, with most of those yards coming in the first half.
Lincoln-Sudbury took ball in the second half and put together an 88-yard scoring drive to cut the Redmen lead to 12-9. Warrior quarterback Henry Guild capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to Malik Layne.
Meanwhile, the Tewksbury offense began to sputter. Twice the defense gave the offense the ball inside the Lincoln-Sudbury 35-yard-line but both drives failed to yield points. Execution at times was sloppy and penalties helped to stymie the offense.
According to Brian Aylward, his team's inexperience showed through at key times.
"We knew there would be some type of a learning curve," said Aylward. "It's up to us, as coaches, to turn these into teachable moments."
Junior Johnny Aylward and senior Zak DiRocco alternated possessions at quarterback throughout the game. Brian Aylward declined to comment on whether he would continue to platoon his quarterbacks or whether he would go with a full-time starter.
Tewksbury opens their Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2 Schedule on Friday night when the Redmen travel to Haverhill to take on the Hillies.