BROCKTON -- Medfield's Michael Lane had the yards, the touchdowns, the carries -- basically the perfect game -- but teammate Michael Shabanoff got the victory. The fullback kicked a 23-yard field goal to give Medfield the lead and the Warriors went on to secure a 35-26 victory over Abington in the MIAA Division 3 playoffs.
"I didn't think of it as too much pressure," said Shabanoff. "I was just praying and hoping it would go in."
The third quarter was highlighted by Abington quarterback John Creamer's handoff to Tim Wells, who then turned and threw back to Creamer, who was waiting in the end zone. That tied it at 26.
With eight seconds left in the game and facing third and 7, Medfield lined up for Shabanoff's winning field goal.
"We finished every practice with PATs and field goals for this reason," said Medfield coach Mike Slason .
Returning the ball for Abington (11-1), Wells fumbled Shabanoff's kick deep in the backfield. Medfield's Alex Lines picked up ball and ran it back 4 yards to close out the scoring at 35-26.
"The best people are here, no one's to be taken lightly," said Abington coach Jim Kelliher. "We got the one-game season and they got the two-game season."
The Green Wave's troubles started as soon as Lane (31 carries for 241 yards and three touchdowns) touched the ball. Abington's Mike Bruning opened the game with a deep kick to Lane. Lane weaved through Abington's defense, sprinting 91 yards for the score. The Warriors (11-1) took a 6-0 lead 16 seconds into the game.
"Right now, we're playing the best football," said Lane. Abington's Steve Foster returned Medfield's shallow kick to the 38-yard line. A 25-yard pass from Creamer to Wells brought the line of scrimmage to the 13-yard line, followed by a 6-yard carry by Webster Rogers . Joe Gabriele cashed it in from the 7 to tie it, 6-6.
Medfield then turned it over on downs, and on Abington's ensuing possession, Jeremy Brandon turned good field position into a 53-yard TD run. Bruning's PAT made it 13-6.
With the line of scrimmage at the 20-yard line to start the second quarter, Abington faced fourth and 1, deciding to go for it but was stopped by the Warrior defense. On Medfield's second play, Lane sprinted for the end zone and rushed for the conversion, giving Medfield a 14-13 lead.
Closing in on Medfield's red zone with 6:50 left in the half, Abington had possession at the Medfield 20-yard line. Creamer (13 TD passes) then connected with Wells as the Green Wave regained the lead, 19-14.
Medfield wasted no time going back on top. Lane returned the ball to the 39-yard line, setting up a 64-yard march into the end zone. Shabanoff's kick was good, and the Warriors had a 21-19 advantage.They built the lead to 26-19 at the half.
Medfield will play Whittier Saturday in the Division 3 Super Bowl.