Whalers sneak in with win
The Big Three Conference had enough playoff scenarios to make one’s head spin, but it will be New Bedford in the Division 1 playoffs.
Heading into yesterday, New Bedford was 4-5 and Brockton was 5-5, while Durfee was out of playoff contention at 1-8. A Big Three team cannot advance to the playoffs if it is below .500, regardless of conference record.
The combination of New Bedford’s 18-16 win over Durfee and Brockton’s 14-8 loss to Bridgewater-Raynham puts the Whalers in the postseason. They will play Needham next week.
Durfee took an 8-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Whalers answered with 18 straight points to take a 10-point lead at the half. Quarterback Mike Rapoza rushed for a 33-yard score and added a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter after Kevin Nunes ran for a 5-yard touchdown.
Durfee got a 21-yard scoring pass from sophomore Trevellis Oliver to Devin Sanders to cut the deficit to 18-16 in the fourth quarter, but the Hilltoppers turned the ball over on downs with less than two minutes remaining.
Bay State Brookline 32, Newton North 19 - Sophomore Nick Scott had a big day for the Warriors, rushing for four scores and 228 yards on 32 carries.
Braintree 28, Milton 21 - The visiting Wamps scored the final 14 points to down the Wildcats. Tim Dutcher scored three touchdowns for Braintree, while Matt Lezama rushed for three scores for Milton.
Framingham 48, Natick 28 - Greg Finley rushed for three touchdowns and Gregory Hemmer kicked a pair of field goals to pace the Flyers. Troy Flutie threw two touchdown passes for the Red and Blue.
Xaverian 28, St. John’s Prep 21 - Zach Maiuri returned a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown during the Hawks’ 21-point third quarter. Jonathan Thomas had 105 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries for the Eagles.
Merrimack Valley (Division 1)
Central Catholic 48, Andover 46 - The Raiders’ Matt McDermott passed for 239 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 52 yards and two more scores, as well as the winning conversion in the second period of overtime.
Lowell 39, Haverhill 29 - R.J. Noel rushed for 122 yards and three touchdowns to lift the Red Raiders over the Hillies.