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Latin Academy wins second straight thriller after powering past Madison Park

Posted by Justin Rice  September 14, 2012 09:22 PM

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Pavel Dzemianok / For the Boston Globe

Latin Academy quarterback Kyle Dance fights across the goal line in the early going against Madison Park at White Stadium on Friday afternoon.

The Latin Academy football team knows how to win in style.

Kyle Dance threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Alex Guerrer with no time on the clock and ran in the 2-point conversion to lift Latin Academy to a wild 22-20 win over Madison Park Friday at White Stadium.

It was the second straight improbable win for the Dragons (2-0), who beat South Boston in overtime on Dance’s touchdown run last week. In Friday’s contest, both teams saved their best for last, combining for four touchdowns in the final two minutes.

Madison Park quarterback Traequon Duncan put the Cardinals ahead, 12-8, on a 1-yard run with two minutes left.

The Dragons answered quickly, with Dance capping a 77-yard drive with a 50-yard TD pass to Guerrer on a perfectly run post pattern.

Up, 14-12, with just over a minute to play, the Dragons were stunned again by Duncan. On his only completion of the game, he hit Kalvin Jones with a 63-yard Hail Mary to the 1-yard line. Duncan ran it in on the next play to give the Cardinals a 20-14 lead with 33 seconds to play.

Latin Academy defensive coordinator Anthony Beronazzani likened the game’s final two minutes to those played at home with a remote control in your hand.

“It was like a video game,” said Beronazzani. “It was like playing Madden out there.”

But Dance and Guerrer — with a little help from Madison Park — came up huge when it mattered most.

The Dragons drove to the Madison Park 35 with 2.5 seconds left. Madison Park’s two safeties were playing back in the end zone, but Dance had no choice but to throw it high toward Guerrer. The pass was batted down, but so was Guerrer, resulting in a pass interference call. Time expired, but the penalty gave Latin Academy one final play.

The 10-yard penalty was assessed and the Dragons got one last shot from 25. Dance dropped back, was chased out of the pocket, then hit Guerrer on a slant to the center of the field. Guerrer barely made it as he dived into the end zone with a hand on his shoulder pads. Dance, who finished with 279 passing yards and two touchdowns (he also ran for one) finished the win with a 2-point conversion.

Guerrer hauled in nine catches for 195 yards and two scores. He missed the Southie game with a knee injury but it didn’t prevent him from having a career game Friday.

“It was tough watching on the sideline last week,” said Guerrer. “I’ve never experienced something like this before. To get the winning touchdown was special. Kyle did it last week, so he had to share.”

Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza said the Dance-Guerrer combination is tough to stop.

“Catching the ball is fairly easy, but catching the ball running the middle of the field when you know you’re going to get hit takes someone special,” Said Zizza. “Kyle has a great temperament. He’s always calm in the huddle and never gets rattled. The way Kyle and Alex communicate on the field is almost like it’s telepathic.”

Senior running back Alex Santiago rushed for 95 yards on 16 carries for Madison Park (0-1).

Lorenzo Recupero covers Boston Public school football. He can be reached at Lorenzorecupero@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @LorenzoRecupero

About Boston Public Schools Sports Blog

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.