No. 2 Brockton starts fast, able to hold off Leominster

LEOMINSTER — The one lesson Brockton will take from last night’s narrow 37-30 victory over Leominster is when you have a team down, keep it down.

The No. 2-ranked Boxers looked to be on cruise control after jumping out to a 21-0 lead. However a couple of costly turnovers along with some ill-advised penalties allowed the Blue Devils to hang around.

But when push came to shove, Brockton showed its mettle to come out with the triumph to improve its record to 7-1.

“[Leominster] really didn’t stop us all night,’’ Boxers coach Peter Colombo said. “But still we shouldn’t have been in this position had we executed better in the first half.’’

Brockton finished with 432 yards of offense while Leominster’s offense managed 288, including 201 in the second half.

With the Boxers ahead, 14-0, running back Trevon Offley appeared headed for a score before coughing the ball up out of the end zone for a touchback. Later, leading by 21, quarterback Paul Mroz, with the Boxers driving, tossed an interception to snuff out another opportunity.

This, in turn, gave the Blue Devils hope. Kyle Sanders tossed a 15-yard TD pass to put Leominster on the board at 21-7 seconds before halftime.

The Blue Devils (3-5) took that momentum with them to open the third quarter as Geraldo Rivera (119 yards on 17 carries) bolted 51 yards up the middle to cut the deficit to 21-14.

But for every Leominster score, Brockton had an answer.

On the ensuing possession, Offley (13 carries for 219 yards) scored from 40 yards out. However, on Leominster’s next possession, the Blue Devils drove 66 yards before Kevin O’Connor hauled in a 3-yard TD pass from Kyle Ford. Ford’s conversion run to follow made it a 7-point game again, 29-22.

Again, the Boxers had an answer. A 52-yard carry by Offley set up a 22-yard TD run by Mroz (9 carries for 131 yards) with 8:27 left to go. Jesse Monteiro’s conversion catch gave Brockton a 37-22 advantage. But give Leominster credit as it continued to make things interesting.

Shaunsagh Addo’s diving catch in the back of the end zone for a 12-yard TD followed by Cortez Ludden’s conversion run had Leominster back within a touchdown at 37-30 with 2:12 to go.

Brockton got the ball back and converted a crucial first down to run the clock out and secure the victory.

“They’re a solid team,’’ said Blue Devils coach John Dubzinski. “I thought our kids hung in there pretty good. I thought our kids played hard for the last three quarters.’’

Brockton opened the game with a pair of quick touchdowns.

Mroz rumbled 58 yards for a score and Albert-Louis Jean hauled in a 23-yard pass from Mroz. The senior quarterback also scored on a 17-yard bootleg to open the second quarter. 

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