“You never leave early! You never leave early!” The phrase resounded in a press box that had been virtually silent since the third quarter.
Boylan had done what that needed to for most of Saturday’s quarter final matchup against Fenwick. They got out to an early lead with a 10-yard run by Demarcus Vines (RB) and an 18-yard pass play to Danny Appino (WR) to make it 14-0 in the first quarter. And the defense held the Friars to three scoreless quarters.
But it was a matter of moments in the third quarter that would prove to be problematic for the Titans. With less than eight minutes to go in the third, Fenwick scored on an impressive 33-yard pass from quarterback Gino Cavalieri to Jimmy Donahue (WR). The ensuing kickoff was then fumbled by Boylan’s Peter Cimino on their own 20 yard line. With fantastic field position and another solid pass from Cavalieri, Fenwick had very suddenly tied the game at 14-14.
Only a few minutes later, Pat Hart capitalized on a blocked punt and gave the Friars the 21-14 lead.
The fourth quarter began with Boylan at their own 26, and ultimately being stopped on downs. The Titan defense managed to contain the momentum that Fenwick had gained in the third, including 6-foot 2-inch, 215-pound junior running back Robert Spillane.
With under two minutes to go in the game, Boylan seemed to have their final chance of the game. Quarterback Brock Stull slung a 40-yard pass just out of the reach of Sean Slattery. His next pass was intercepted by Fenwick linebacker John Dvorak.
It was at this point, I finished my hot chocolate, clicked my pen, and put away my notebook. With ten seconds on the clock, Fenwick was stopped at their own 28 yard line, and just needed to punt out of the way of the Titans’ receivers to end the game, and Boylan’s momentous winning streak.
But the kick didn’t go into the end zone. It didn’t go out of bounds. It went straight into the arms of Peter Cimino. Cimino (who had dropped the kick that would tie the game in the third) took off, remained upright after slipping on his first cut, and followed his blockers up the sideline. With the game clock at zero, Cimino went 90-yards into the end zone.
This was the play they write for playoff games in every football movie.
It was an unbelievable run. But Fenwick still lead 21-20 and there was no time left on the clock. New head coach John Cacciatore decided to take his chances on one play rather than an overtime skirmish, and gave the ball to Zack Matthews. The 221-pound junior, normally a linebacker, pushed his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion, Boylan’s 39th consecutive win, and their ticket to the semifinals.
by Liz Rudolph
ESPN 1380 Prep Reporter
Twitter: @LizESPN1380 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to: Prep Corner Blog