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Latin Academy bounces back after holding off West Roxbury surge

Posted by Justin Rice  October 26, 2012 06:22 PM

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Latin Academy held off West Roxbury in an 18-14 victory on Friday despite the fact that Westie junior running back Michael Obianigwe rushed for 192 yards rushing on 14 carries. He scored on a 90-yard TD run to make the score 18-14 with 8:05 to play. (Pavel Dzemianok / For the Boston Globe)

A week after Alex Guerrer missed a last second field goal that would’ve beat East Boston by two points, the Latin Academy senior bounced back by coming up with a crucial interception and key fumble recovery in a win against West Roxbury Friday afternoon at White Stadium.

“Yeah, a little bit of redemption,” Guerrer said after the 18-14 victory. “My team, they rallied around me after, they supported me after that missed field goal when I was feeling down.

"We came back Monday and it was a new week and we were ready to get after it. We had a great week of practice and that’s why we got this win.”

With an 18-6 lead in the third quarter, Guerrer came up with an interception with 4:46 in the quarter that seemed like it would break West Roxbury’s spirits.

Despite a plethora of penalties that gave Latin Academy several opportunities, West Roxbury proved to be resilient as junior running back Michael Obianigwe (192 yards rushing on 14 carries) scored on a 90-yard TD run to make the score 18-14 with 8:05 to play.

Then, after Latin Academy fumbled the ball away on the 39 with 3:36 to play, it looked like the Raiders had the momentum they needed to get the come-back victory.

But four plays later, Westie fumbled the ball on a bad snap. It was Guerrer who emerged from the pile raising the football over his head. Latin Academy took over on the 47 with 2:06 to play before they ran out the clock.

“We kind of got stagnant at in the third quarter and in the start of the fourth,” Guerrer said, “but we made some big plays there in the end, the fumble recovery, we made some big plays on defense, and we had a couple first downs on offense to seal the win.

“I just wanted to make some big plays out there. The D-line did a great job getting pressures on those [two big plays] that I had.”

After West Roxbury scored its first touchdown of the game to make the score 12-6 in the third quarter, Latin Academy responded with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Ernest Kellough.

"It's the first one of my career, it felt good, as soon as I broke the 50 I was like 'It's all me,' " said the senior running back who had 69 yards rushing on the day, including a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

“Last year I had the same amount of speed and I always got caught on the 2-yard line so my goal was to finish it all. I had the trust in my line to get me there and it was straight speed after that. It was pretty much like shushing the crowd you could say, they scored. We had a shutdown in mind and they scored. The kick return was phenomenal. It was unbelievable. I’m still thinking about it.”

Obianigwe thought his 90-yard TD run would be the spark his team needed to put them over the edge.

“I did it because I knew my team was losing, personally I didn’t want to lose so I was busting my [butt] on every single play,” Obianigwe said. “The play just opened up and I saw myself running and running.

“Every play I was trying to get a touchdown and every play I was running my hardest but I guess my hardest wasn’t enough today.”

West Roxbury (3-4) also got its first touchdown pass of the season when junior quarterback David Bertucci tossed a 29-yarder to senior wide receiver Jovan Johnson to make the score 12-6 in the third quarter.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot,” West Roxbury coach Derek Wright said of the final quarter. “It was a game we still had a chance even though we played a bad first half. But we were still right there in the end, but we took any chance we had away.”

The Dragons also got 67 yards rushing from junior running back Chenedu Ighokue to help them improve to 4-4 on the season.

“We definitely needed this one,” Guerrer said. “We had a tough week last week and it's good to get back to winning again.”

Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.

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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.