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Chelmsford 28, Lowell 22

No. 7 Chelmsford gets past Lowell

By Anthony Gulizia
Globe Correspondent / November 6, 2011

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LOWELL - Chelmsford, which had frittered away a 14-point lead, desperately needed a boost as time wound down in the fourth quarter.

With 6:42 remaining, senior running back Eddie Sheridan ran in from the 1-yard line and No. 7 Chelmsford went on to defeat Lowell, 28-22, at the Martin Alumni athletic complex last night.

“I tried to get my team up and cheer them up and we needed to come back and fight harder to get the win,’’ said Sheridan, who had 168 yards on 29 carries. “[Lowell] stuffed the box, but you just try to fight and get the extra yards.’’

Chelmsford (8-0, 3-1) has 9 points and is in first place in the Merrimack Valley Large, 3 points ahead of Billerica.

In the MVC, teams get 2 points for a conference win within the division, and 1 point for a win within the conference outside its division.

If Billerica beats Central Catholic Friday, Billerica and Chelmsford will battle for the conference title on Thanksgiving.

“It was a big win and we needed it,’’ Sheridan said. “It meant a lot and it was a hard challenge for us.’’

After Sheridan gave Chelmsford a 21-14 lead, the Red Raiders marched to the Chelmsford 31-yard line. But the Lions defense stuffed running back Ngaiiva Mason on fourth and 1.

With 4:02 left, Sheridan ran eight straight plays to pick up 27 yards, including two first downs on fourth and 1.

“We figured we could punt it and give them a chance or hold onto it and have a better shot at ending the ballgame,’’ Chelmsford coach Bruce Rich said.

After the Lions picked up a first down with 1:13 left, quarterback Colby Emanouil (9 rushes, 75 yards, 6-for-9 passing, 78 yards) broke to the right side for a 41-yard score to seal the victory.

“[Emanouil] is going to make a play to break your back,’’ Rich said. “He usually won’t do it by throwing the ball, he’ll do it with his feet. We needed that play to win the game.’’

Lowell (5-4, 1-2) scored on the ensuing drive with a 9-yard pass from R.J. Noel (11-17, 137, 2 touchdowns) to Jack Wallace, and Noel punched in the 2-point conversion. Noel had two TD passes, giving him 20 for the season.

However, only six seconds remained and Lowell’s onside kick traveled out of bounds to end the game.

Chelmsford used scores from Emanouil and Sheridan to take a 14-0 lead in the first half, but Lowell answered with a 40-yard pass from Noel and a rushing touchdown from the senior quarterback to tie the game at the start of the fourth quarter.