Medway 30, Westwood 16

Ozzella gets Medway past Westwood

By Jake Seiner
Globe Correspondent / October 30, 2010

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MEDWAY — Westwood held the ball for almost the entire game, but Medway had running back Mike Ozzella, and that was the difference in last night’s 30-16 Medway victory.

Ozzella carried the ball 19 times for 237 yards and scored four touchdowns, including go-ahead scoring runs of 88 and 62 yards in the fourth quarter. It was Ozzella’s second four-touchdown game in two weeks.

“He’s pretty much the complete back,’’ coach Dave McSweeney said. “He had a heck of a game, but he had a heck of a game because the guys up front did the job.’’

The win gives the Mustangs (7-1, 7-1 Tri-Valley League) the second seed in the TVL playoffs and a matchup next Saturday against third-seeded Norton. The Wolverines (6-2, 6-2) fall to the fourth seed, and will take on top-seeded Holliston.

Holliston improved to 7-1 and more importantly, pitched a first-half shutout in beating Medfield, 48-7. In allowing just 7 first-half points all season to the common opponents of Norton, Westwood, and Medway, the Panthers won the tiebreaker for the TVL tournament seedings. Kevin Curry scored three touchdowns for Holliston. Norton also won, beating Millis, and finished 7-1.

Westwood controlled the ball for almost 70 percent of the plays in the second half, including an 18-play, 79-yard drive that spanned more than 10 minutes between the third and fourth quarters.

The Wolverines failed to turn the drive into points, however, as quarterback Will Smith was dragged down on fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard-line on a designed rollout.

Four plays later, Ozzella struck pay dirt for the second time in the game, busting an 88-yard run down the left sideline to give Medway a 15-9 lead with 7:40 to play.

“I couldn’t have asked for better blocking — just got to open field and made some cuts,’’ Ozzella said.

Westwood responded with a 10-play scoring drive, capped by a 7-yard score from Sean Amaru (20 carries, 77 yards), giving the Wolverines a 16-15 lead with 3:07 left.

On the first play of Medway’s next drive, Ozzella again struck gold, this time streaking 62 yards up the middle for the score.

On the ensuing drive, Westwood lost the ball on downs. Medway capitalized on the strong field position, with another Ozzella touchdown that extended the lead to 14.

The second half may have had a much different feel if not for a miscue by one of the officials. Midway through the third, Westwood opted to have Amaru run the ball on fourth-and-inches near midfield.

Amaru was briefly stopped at the line, but quickly broke free and streaked to the end zone with no defenders in sight.

However, one of the officials blew his whistle when Amaru hit the pile, and the ball was spotted down just shy of the first-down marker.

Officials, realizing the whistle was blown early, gave Westwood the option to replay the down. Westwood did get the first down, but failed to score on the drive.

“[The official] said it was an inadvertent whistle,’’ McSweeney said. “I guess, by rule, they can either take the result of the play when the whistle blew or replay the down. Obviously we held them, so they replayed the down.’’