Lowell High came into last night’s rain soaked tilt with Tewksbury High having scored 91 points in three consecutive wins.
At Cawley Stadium, the Redmen defense held the vaunted Raiders to a big, fat zero, as the Redmen upset Lowell, 21-0.
“We worked hard studying what they do, their formations and all of that,” said Tewksbury head coach Brian Aylward. “I thought we might have confused them a little bit."
The Tewksbury defense forced four fumbles, recovered two of them, and made one interception. The Lowell offense also had five drops.
On the offensive side, junior quarterback Johnny Aylward ran the show. Despite the fact that his rushing ability wasn’t a major part of the game plan, Aylward ran for a pair of touchdowns and was inches away from a third.
“We have two tailbacks who are kind of workhorse guys,” said the elder Aylward. “We’re trying to get some plays to get some other guys touches.”
“He had some good runs there. It’s great to see him do that,” coach Aylward concluded.
Lowell, 3-0 entering the game, was seen as the top team in the Merrimack Valley Conference. When they turned the ball over on their first possession, you knew this one wasn’t going to follow the script.
After a completed pass out to the right flat, Tewksbury (2-2 overall, 2-1 MVC) stripped and recovered a fumble. The ensuing drive saw Kevin Dick make a 40-yard catch and run down to the Lowell 34.
Later that drive, Johnny Aylward demonstrated major poise and scrambled all the way to the left sideline. After avoiding three tacklers, he launched a 22-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Tom Casey on third down.
James Sullivan pounded in the two-point conversion to raise some eyebrows and make it 8-0, Redmen.
In the second quarter, Lowell saw its best chance to get back in the game. On fourth and one from the five-yard-line the Redmen defense made a statement by stuffing a quarterback sneak and creating a turnover on downs.
After the break, Tewksbury showed purpose, precision, and great blocking by the offensive line. By winning the game in the trenches, Tewksbury’s rushing attack of Aylward, Sullivan, and junior Eddie Matovu controlled the clock and moved the chains.
Johnny Aylward’s 30-yard rush on a quarterback draw set up his five-yard touchdown run which made it 14-0 with 7:43 to play in the third.
Early in the fourth, things once again looked like they could unravel for the Redmen. On a fourth and three in Lowell territory, Aylward threw a pick when looking for Kevin Dick on a fade pattern.
Lowell celebrated the interception but was called for pass interference, which kept the Redmen drive alive.
Aylward would make them pay once again, driving the ball in from four yards out. For the first time this season, the Redmen made an extra point. It set the final score at 21-0.
"Our kids worked very hard, they played good, and I’m happy for them," Aylward said of his drenched but elated squad.
The 2-2 Redmen will host 4-0 Andover on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Doucette Field with a shot at knocking off another unbeaten and making a statement that they are a force to be reckoned with in the MVC this season.
It won't be an easy task, as Andover is coming off an impressive 15-13 upset victory over perennial Division 1 power Xaverian.