After their best offensive effort of the season, a 41-point outburst against Andover last week, Tewksbury High found the end zone only once in a 16-7 loss to Central Catholic last night at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Lawrence.
“That was a frustrating one,” said Tewksbury head coach Brian Aylward.
After slicing the Andover defense for six touchdowns last week, the Redmen offense left a lot to be desired against Central Catholic, who improved their record to 5-1.
Meanwhile, Tewksbury fell to 2-4.
The battle in the trenches decided this one, as the Tewksbury offensive line could not contain Central's three man defensive front.
“I thought they were very good up front, and that posed some problems for us,” said Aylward.
“We knew that those down three guys were good,” he said of Central’s defensive line. “I thought they were the difference in the game,” he commented.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys up front; experience-wise they’re young guys,” he said of his offensive line.
On two of the game’s biggest plays, with Tewksbury driving the ball in the fourth quarter, quarterback Johnny Aylward was sacked trying to cut the deficit with passing attempts.
On fourth and 13 from the Central 34-yard line, Aylward was wrapped up, turning the ball over on downs and a huge turn of momentum with time running out.
After the defense forced a three and out, Aylward was sacked again on fourth down, this time on his own 25. This allowed the Red Raiders to take over on downs and essentially end the game.
In the first quarter, Central running back D’Andre Drummond-Mayire rushed in a touchdown from eight yards out to put the Raiders up 7-0.
Drummond-Mayire rushed the ball only eight times but ended up with 95 yards.
Equally as problematic for the Redmen was running back Santino Brancato, who had 15 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Later in the first, James Sullivan provided a spark for Tewksbury with a five-yard touchdown run. He finished the game with only 21 yards rushing from 11 carries. Quarterback Johnny Aylward ended up with the exact same rushing numbers.
Far more effective running the ball last night was Tom Casey who managed 61 yards from 9 carries. Also effective was Eddie Motovu, whose nine carries resulted in 56 yards.
Central Catholic added a second quarter field goal to make it 10-7 which is where the score stood at the half.
Santino Brancato’s four yard touchdown run in the early fourth quarter sealed the deal for Central. After that, the defense was able to operate from attack mode much to the chagrin of the Redmen offense.
“I thought the kids worked hard; I had no problem with their effort,” said Aylward. “They fight as hard as they can every time out,” he continued. “Ultimately that’s all I can ever ask from them.”
The 2-4 Redmen have had an immensely difficult schedule thus far. “We know that every team on our schedule is good,” Aylward said.
Going into last night’s game, Tewksbury's opponents held a combined record of 24-8.
Next week, the Redmen will play host to Lawrence High School. The Redmen will be favored over the 0-6 Lancers.