MIAA Playoffs 2017 Update

Gerry Leavens 

November 13, 2017

The #1 Seed Norwell Clippers were defeated by the #5 Seed Middleboro Sachems 32-22, on November 3rd, avenging the loss they suffered at the end of the regular season. ORR knocked off #3 Rockland by a score of 12-8. Middleboro RB Jeremy Soule opened up the scoring for the game with a 1-yard TD rush. K Brandon Buote made the score 7-0 after converting the PAT.

      The first half of the game was a roller coaster of momentum between both teams. Norwell QB Cal Smith had a 4-yard TD rush to start Norwell’s scoring, but they missed the following PAT, leaving the score at 7-6. Soule made it 14-6 with a 5-yard TD run. With the Sachems up 14-6, the Clippers were able to compile a long drive to end the half to tie the game 14-14. The drive ended on a Smith 13-yard TD pass to Ethan Robbins in the corner of the endzone, and Bryce Griffin’s 2-point conversion.

      Middleboro QB Evan Gwozdz’s first score, a 1-yard TD rush, broke the tie coming out of the half, capping a 69-yard drive to begin the third quarter, making the score 20-14. With Middleboro up 20-14, in the fourth quarter, Norwell had possession of the ball with a good chance to tie the game, but an interception by Safety Shawn McCarthy wiped away any hope of a comeback. Following the turnover, Soule ran for a 41-yard gain that set up his own 11-yard TD run, propelling the lead to 26-14. After Soule’s third TD, Gwozdz sealed the deal with a 1-yard rushing TD in the final minute of play. The TD made the score 32-14 with 3:08 remaining, coming off of a fumble recovery by Peter Calogero.

      Soule dominated the running game all night with over 150 yards on the ground to go along with 3 rushing touchdowns. QB Evan Gwozdz stood out as well and the Clippers had no answers for him, throwing for more than 125 yards and running for more than 60 yards and two touchdowns. QB Cal Smith threw for 70 yards and rushed for 40 yards and a pair of scores on the ground.

      This past Friday, on November 10th, the Sachems defeated Old Rochester 30-21. Although Old Rochester’s Harry Smith rushed for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns, the Sachems scored a pair of 50-plus yard TDs and converted twice on 4th-and-goal from the 5 to claim the Division 6 South title. Middleboro advances to play No. 2 Seed of the North, Stoneham. Stoneham defeated #1 Seed Hamilton-Wenham 20-18 this past Saturday. Some key plays of the game include a blocked extra point that was returned for two points by Middleboro to make it a two score game in the final seconds. Before that play, with 5:54 remaining and ORR down 23-13, Evan Gwozdz’s rushing TD extended Middleboro’s lead to 30-13. The Sachems outgained the Bulldogs 150-126 in the first half of play, but ORR turned the table the second half, out gaining the Sachems 158-101. 134 yards of the Sachems total 251 yards came on two plays in the second quarter.