FOXBOROUGH - The defense couldn't rest until victory was assured.
Greater Lawrence's defensive unit, which held the usually potent East Boston ground attack to 108 yards, pressured quarterback Chris Dos Santos late in the fourth quarter yesterday. Senior linebacker George Cruz read the play and intercepted the pass, setting up Nate Adames's third touchdown for the Reggies in their 19-6 victory in the EMass Division 3A Super Bowl.
"Today, the defense won our championship," said Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis.
Greater Lawrence held the Jets to one possession in the third quarter, a drive that lost 2 yards and ate up 2:20.
With his team leading, 7-6, Adames punted the ball 48 yards, putting East Boston at their 23 with 8:57 left in the game.
The Jets advanced to their 43, where they faced fourth and inches with 5:37 remaining. Although the Jets had struggled to move the ball, East Boston coach John Sousa chose not to punt, even after an illegal motion penalty moved the ball back 5 yards.
"That was a key play," said Sousa.
Dos Santos handed off to senior running back Tyrone Figueroa who was stuffed by senior defensive lineman Jason Orsini after a 1-yard gain, giving the Reggies the ball on the East Boston 39 with 5:29 left.
"Defensively, they came hard at us," said Sousa.
Facing third and 12, Adames gained 9 yards before safety Frank Brown stopped him 3 yards short of the first down. On fourth and 3, Adames, already with 25 carries and a limp in his step, ran off tackle and down the left sideline for a 13-6 lead with 3:39 to play.
"The fourth-down conversion was really important," said Adames. "We needed to put points on the board."
Figueroa returned Juan Olivio's kickoff 22 yards to the Jets' 45. On second down, Dos Santos saw Figueroa downfield to his right, but Cruz read Dos Santos well, picked off the pass, and returned it to the Jets' 4 with 2:49 left.
"I wasn't looking for the interception," said Cruz. "But I saw the guy coming out of the backfield, stayed with him, and came up with it. We had been practicing plays like that all week, so we knew it was going to happen eventually. I was there when it happened."
Eastie senior linebacker Jamal Johnson hit Adames for a 1-yard loss before an offside penalty pushed Greater Lawrence back to the 10. Adames got the handoff on second and goal and ran behind the left side of his line again. His stroll into the end zone was as easy as Sunday morning and gave his team a 13-point lead.
Eastie recovered the kick at its 40. After an incomplete pass, Brown carried for 5 yards.
On third and 5, Figueroa was stopped by Adames for a 1-yard loss. On fourth down, the Jets' last chance to stay in the game, senior linebacker John Cote tackled Figueroa deep in the backfield for a 7-yard loss.
Said Sarkis, "We told our defensive guys what they had to do, and they did it, so we won."