Koby Schofer drives Northbridge to victory

Northbridge 29
Hoosac Valley 22

LEOMINSTER — It was the kind of drive quarterbacks dream of, and Koby Schofer did it twice.

The sophomore led Northbridge on a nine-play, 62-yard drive, capped by his 18-yard TD run, for a 21-14 lead over Hoosac Valley with 3:21 to go in the Division 5 state semifinal.

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But the Hurricanes stormed right back, as Matt Koperniak threw a screen pass to Ty Mach for a 76-yard touchdown. Hoosac Valley went for the go-ahead score, with Koperniak running in the 2-point conversion with 2:36 remaining for a 22-21 lead.

Then Schofer played hero again.

Running the two-minute drill with the poise of a senior, Schofer led an 11-play, 65-yard drive culminating with the game-winning 25-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Brooks with 30 seconds left to lift Northbridge to a 29-22 victory Saturday.

With 19 seconds left, the Hurricanes fumbled a hook-and-ladder and Northbridge’s Robbie Sabourin recovered it.

The Rams (9-2) will face Bishop Fenwick in the Division 5 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium Dec. 7.

“That’s a dream come true right there,” Schofer said. “Playing in Gillette Stadium, watching games there as a kid and now I get to play there, it’s awesome.”

Schofer connected with Brooks twice before the game-winner to keep the drive alive, passing for first downs on fourth and 8 and third and 10.

“Chandler is another sophomore and another go-to guy,” said Northbridge coach Ken LaChapelle. “We’ve counted on our sophomores and they’ve done what they had to do.”

Brooks’s second catch of the drive moved the Rams into Hoosac Valley territory, and Schofer spiked the ball at 1:01. On the next two plays, Schofer scrambled for 14 yards before LaChapelle called a timeout with 38 seconds left.

Lined up near the left sideline, Brooks ran a stop-and-go, gained a step on the defensive back, and snared the pass in the end zone.

“I realized we were going to go to Gillette if I caught it,” Brooks said.

Schofer finished 13-of-22 passing for 120 yards and two touchdowns (both to Brooks), and added 27 carries for 161 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Hurricanes (9-2) intercepted Schofer twice, one by senior Brandon Tworig in the red zone in the third quarter. Hoosac Valley then marched down the field, using 18 plays and nearly eight minutes to go 87 yards, capped off by a Koperniak 3-yard TD run to tie the game at 14.