Perfect finish for Pembroke
PEMBROKE - Yesterday was extra special for coach Bob Bancroft and the Pembroke football team.
A 27-14 victory over Silver Lake marked three major milestones.
The Titans got their first victory over the Lakers, finished the regular season a perfect 10-0 for the first time in the program’s six-year history, and Bancroft captured his 200th career win.
“It’s unbelievable,’’ said Pembroke running back Jon Hooper. “We’ve always wanted to beat Silver Lake. Being 10-0 right now makes it even better. We kept doing the same thing we’ve been doing all season.’’
The game turned near the end of the third quarter with Pembroke leading, 13-7. Hooper scored on a 4-yard run to cap a 13-play drive, and quarterback Luke Nagel rushed for the 2-point conversion to put Pembroke up, 21-7.
Two plays later, Silver Lake fumbled and Pembroke’s Dan McCourt dived on the ball for the recovery. Nagel responded by hitting Nick Burns with a 29-yard TD pass to make it 27-7.
“Perfection,’’ said Nagel “We still have a couple games to win, we’re hoping to go to the Super Bowl. After last year we told ourselves we had to beat Silver Lake. We achieved our dream.’’
Bancroft was honored after the game with a plaque, and the players signed and awarded him the game ball.
“It was a struggle getting going,’’ Bancroft said. “We had three wins the first year. We had some struggles early, but not this year. The kids are great. It’s the people, the community, the players and the assistant coaches. You don’t do it alone.’’
In the first quarter, Silver Lake’s opening drive led to a 6-yard TD by John Hurley (80 yards on 16 carries). Hurley kicked the extra point to put the Lakers (1-10) ahead, 7-0, with 2:21 remaining in the quarter.
“Silver Lake has always played great and they came out early with a great drive and got us behind,’’ Bancroft said. “It really took us to the second half to wake up and take care of business. But we’ve been behind this year. It’s good to know we can come back.’’
Hooper (123 yards on 16 carries) broke through the line of scrimmage on Pembroke’s first drive and went 50 yards down the sideline to tie it at 7.
“There was a big hole,’’ Hooper said. “I broke a tackle and looked up and there was no one in front of me. I just tried to get to the end zone before anyone caught me.’’
Pembroke took its first lead when Nagel (7-of-12 passing for 144 yards) fired a 41-yard pass to a wide-open Burns to make it 13-7 in the second quarter.
The Titans emerged hungry in the third quarter. Tom Castanha tackled Hurley for a loss on fourth and 1 on Silver Lake’s first possession of the second half.
“When Tom Castanha came in, we knew we’d have a better team,’’ said Nagel of the transfer from Silver Lake. “I’m just happy he’s on my team this year.’’
Silver Lake quarterback Patrick Finn capped the scoring with an 11-yard rush in the fourth quarter.