In a game between 2 of the top teams in the state, the Pinkerton football team came out with a win behind a strong defensive effort and some big plays by their super juniors Manny Latimore and Matt Madden. Latimore returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown which really swung the game's momentum in the 1st half. In the 2nd half, Madden made a big interception on his own 16 yard line and then returned it 30 yards to the 46.
Overall though, the story of the game was all of the turnovers and penalties there was on both sides. 2 plays that stand out was Pinkerton fumbling the ball into the end zone and BG fumbling deep in their own end on a kickoff return.
"Every time we play Bishop Guertin it's an ugly game and today was no different" said Pinkerton head coach Brian O'Reilly. "The only good thing about this is that now I can show the film to our kids so they can see what needs to be fixed."
Both Defenses Really Played Well
Madden had an interception and a number of big time tackles. The interception was definitely one of the game's biggest plays.
"I saw the QB roll out and then I saw their tight end was behind me" Madden explained. "Then I just went over and grabbed it."
Andrew Ong had a crucial fumble recovery and then rumbled all the way down to the BG 10 yard line before being pushed out of bounds. That set up a 1 yard TD run by Matt St. Onge, making it 20-3 Pinkerton with just 5:34 left in the game. St. Onge also played well at linebacker, as did Nick Liporto.
Nick Mazzola made a big interception late, and Phil Harper and Jacob Whorf did some nice work in the trenches. Brett Stuart also played well on defense for the Astros.
For BG their defense was led by Kevin Kiczuk, Blake Boudreau, John Miller, Damion Cadoret, Nick Marino and Kody Karlson. The Guertin defense has good speed and a bunch of hard hitters. They did a very good job of keeping the Pinkerton running game in check.
"I thought it was a good effort by everyone on defense" said Bishop Guertin head coach Travis Cote. "We made lots of plays for losses. Miller and Boudreau made some great plays. If we can eliminate the turnovers we'll be alright."
It was a 0-0 game after 1 quarter of play. Matt St. Onge (who made a great run earlier on the drive) fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touch back. That was the closest either team came to scoring in the 1st quarter. Latimore's 66 yard punt return for a TD broke the tie and really energized Pinkerton's team as a whole. He showed some terrific breakaway speed on that play, and also got some good blocks by teammates Liporto, Madden and Jake Lisauskus.
"At first I was trying to decide if I should return it or fair catch it" said Latimore. "Then I saw my guys go to the right. So I went right and took it to the house."
On the ensuing kickoff Marino got to the 25 yard line before getting hit and then the ball popped out. Ryan Day recovered the fumble for the Astros on the BG 26. A few plays later Chris St. Onge ran in a 6 yard TD to make it 13-0 Pinkerton.
As for BG, their QB in this game was junior Tommy Hurley, who was filling in for Pat Bilodeau (broken thumb). Other than the turnovers, Hurley did very well in there considering it was his first varsity start and he was going up against such a good defense. Anthony Reale ran hard for the Cardinals, breaking off an 18 yard run in the 2nd half where he broke a bunch of tackles. He also made an 18 yard reception from and he also led the team with 53 total yards.
Guertin was playing without junior speedster CJ Boykin, who remains out of the lineup with a shoulder injury suffered playing baseball.