Emotional Win for MA Football
by The Milton Measure on Friday, October 5th, 2012
It was palpable: the presence of something more than just the usual MA superfans and supportive parents. The Milton Varsity Football team was willed to victory by more than just their usual effort. The EAS decals on the back of the players’ helmets brought new meaning to the season opener two weeks ago on Stokinger field. The Mustangs won it – 27-21 – for themselves, for the school, and for the memory of Elizabeth Alling Sewall, beloved Milton parent and sports fan.
Firing on all cylinders, Lawrence opened the game with two first quarter touchdowns. Milton’s offensive drives all came up short, even with the best sophomore kicker in the country, Justin Yoon (III), on their side.
With Lawrence deep in Milton territory and poised for another potentially devastating touchdown, fans knew what was on the line. Milton Hockey star Cole Richard Morrisette (I) knows the importance of a supportive crowd. Knowing the Milton defense was on their heels, Cole yelled out onto the field. “Tear someone’s head off Oda!” The cheer, directed at Milton linebacker John Oda-Gallagher (I), worked. Oda-Gallagher was sufficiently fired up. He broke through Lawrence’s pass protection and hit the quarterback as he was mid-throw. The result: a John Fadule (II) interception and a new life for Milton.
The Mustangs scored three points on the following drive with a field goal by Justin Yoon. Yoon added two more field goals in the half, one from an astonishing 53 yards. NFL kickers often miss from equal range, but Yoon’s teammates did not even consider such a possibility. “It was absurd, but I knew he would make it,” said senior linebacker/defensive end James Oliver (I). He continued, “because when he kicked the 40 yard [field goal earlier] the ball carried all the way to the track. I knew he had it in him.” Yoon’s three field goals brought the score at halftime to 14-9.
Junior running back Drew Jacobs knew what he was playing for. He knew that the game had to be won for not just the team, but for the EAS sticker on the back of his helmet. So it was no surprise when Drew rushed for two remarkable touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to put Milton ahead. After the first, Nick Bland out leaped the Lawrence cornerback to successfully complete the 2-point conversion.
To close the 3rd quarter, Justin Lamere (I) tackled Lawrence’s star receiver to prevent the Spartans from converting on a 3rd down. Lawrence was forced to punt, and Milton began the 4th quarter with the ball.
In the huddle between quarters, Coach Kevin MacDonald rallied his troops. “Shut the door,” he said. “Don’t give them hope.”
Despite a 4th quarter touchdown by Lawrence, Milton closed the game strong and started their season with a victory, worthy of the memory of Mrs. Sewall. On the last play of the game, Safety Nelson Thomas (II) broke up a pass directed for a Lawrence receiver. Had the receiver caught the pass, he would have had a clear path to the end zone and set up the point after to win the game. Captain Jeff Bortman on the play: “We were all just silently hoping that we could stop them. We knew that we had strength from above. We knew that the stickers would give us luck, and it was very emotional when Nelson made the stop.”
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