Blue Hills tops Eastie on Neil’s field goal
FRANKLIN - Blue Hills and East Boston both feature a trio of strong running backs and very good quarterbacks. Neither team has a field goal kicker to speak of.
So naturally, their Division 4A playoff last night at Franklin High came down to a field goal try with three seconds left.
Tied at 22, Blue Hills coach Ed Catabia sent out sophomore David Neil to try a 26-yarder after the East Boston defense had stiffened in the second half. Neil’s kick sailed between the uprights, giving the Warriors a 25-22 win and a trip to Saturday’s Super Bowl vs. Cathedral.
Catabia, who hadn’t even attempted a field goal in his four seasons as coach, remembered Neil, a tight end, joking around at the end of Sunday’s practice, trying to kick field goals and actually making one from 30 yards. To Neil’s surprise, he was summoned by his coach and sent onto the field.
“I was just fooling around at practice and I was shocked to get the call in this game,’’ said Neil. “I didn’t even hit it that good, but it just made it. It was a dream situation that I’ll remember the rest of my life.’’
“It’s very weird how things work out,’’ said Catabia, “but when we needed the offense, defense, or someone to step it up or fill in, everyone answered the call. Now we would like to finish the job after losing the Super Bowl last year.’’
Blue Hills (11-1) was paced by an outstanding trio of junior Vincent Burton (102 yards, TD, two 2-point conversions), senior Isaiah Teixeira (76 yards, TD), and senior Jordan Rotman (53 yards, TD).
Offense dominated the first half. Blue Hills scored on its first three possessions. Rotman opened the scoring with a 25-yard run followed by Burton’s 2-point conversion run. The Jets tied the score on Davonte Holloway’s 8-yard run followed by Andre Rickerson’s 2-point conversion run.
Burton had a 9-yard touchdown run and added the ensuing 2-point conversion, but Rickerson (64 yards on 11 carries) answered for East Boston (7-4) with an 8-yard TD burst and 2-point conversion run.
Blue Hills, which never trailed, retook the lead with 38 seconds left in the half, on Teixeira’s 8-yard TD run. The 2-point conversion failed, but the Warriors took a 22-16 lead into intermission.
East Boston had the ball for all but 37 seconds of the third quarter, but the 16-play drive ended on the Blue Hills 5 as the Warriors’ defense came up with a big fourth-down play. The Jets got the ball back a play later, though, on a turnover, and didn’t miss this time, tying the game on Holloway’s 10-yard run.
Blue Hills got the ball back on its 37 with 1:12 left for one last try. The Warriors ran nine plays, with the help of their full complement of timeouts and running out of bounds, to set up Neil’s winning kick.