Seniors CJ Boykin and Mike Devereaux scored 2 touchdowns apiece, and Bishop Guertin (5-1) defeated Spaulding (3-3) 38-26 on Saturday at Stellos Stadium in Nashua.
Both of Boykin's TDs came on kickoff returns, and those 2 plays turned out to be the difference in the game. He returned the game's opening kickoff 85 yards for the score, and in the 3rd quarter he again returned a kickoff for a touchdown, this time from 81 yards out. You simply cannot kick the ball to him!
Spaulding showed grit, they battled hard, and got another great game from senior RB Trevon Scott (183 rushing yards and 2 TDs, plus 2 catches for 46 yards and 1 TD). But they gave up too many big plays, and also had a costly fumble in the 2nd quarter.
Devereaux had 85 yards rushing and 2 TDs on just 4 carries. BG had a very balanced rushing attack, with a whopping 7 different players getting carries. Devereaux's first TD came late in the 1st half. QB Tommy Hurley (who left the game late with an injury and did not return) ran the option, pitched it to Devereaux who took it to the house from 35 yards out. That was the first of 3 BG scores in the last 3 and half minutes of the 2nd quarter as Guertin scored 17 straight points to end the 1st half.
On Spaulding's next drive Michael Melendez was stripped of the ball while running with it, and it was recovered by Kurtis McLarney for BG. Then Kelvin Rivera took a handoff and ran it 27 yards for the touchdown. That gave the Cardinals a 21-6 lead with 2:48 to play in the 1st half.
The Red Raiders were forced to punt on their next possession, giving BG the ball back one last time at the end of the half. Guertin ran the hurry up offense effectively, led by Hurley. Tanner Daniels batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage though for Spaulding. BG had to settle for a field goal, which Christopher Fox drilled from 30 yards away. 24-6 BG at halftime.
Devereaux's other TD iced the game, and the win for the Cardinals. BG was clinging to a 31-26 lead. Hurley was out of the game, so Spaulding was hoping to force a punt and get the ball back with enough time to score and win the game. However Devereaux had other ideas, as he busted loose for a 41 yard touchdown run down the left sideline. That gave Guertin a 38-26 lead with just 3:43 remaining in the 4th quarter.
Spaulding got the ball back and still had a small chance for a comeback, but then Red Raiders sophomore QB Josh Lapointe was intercepted by Bishop Guertin DB Kyle Cushion.
Scary moment in this game came late in the 3rd quarter. Rivera went for a tackle, but was injured on the play and afterwards he was not able to get up. Rivera laid motionless face down on the field, near the Spaulding sideline. He had to be carried off on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I hope Rivera will be okay. You hate to ever see something like that happen to a kid.
Between Rivera and Hurley, that's 2 starters that left this game injured and did not return. BG has a big one next Friday night vs. Nashua South. They beat Spaulding today, but can they beat South without Hurley and Rivera? Only time will tell.
Give Spaulding credit, for continually fighting back in this game. It was neck and neck for most of the first half, with BG only up 7-6 before they went off for 17 points at the end of the half. And even though the Red raiders went down 24-6 at the half, and trailed 31-13 early in the 3rd quarter they kept battling to make it closer. Scott had a 58 yard TD run right after Boykin's second kickoff return for a TD. Then on BG's next drive they fumbled it and it was recovered by Spaulding. Then Tyler Snow (84 rushing yards and 1 TD) dove in for a touchdown from 2 yards out. Just like that we had a ballgame again, with Spaulding only down 31-26 with 11:43 to play in the 4th quarter.
The Red Raiders got the ball back in the 4th, still trailing just 31-26. But on 4th down and 3 from their own 24 yard line they elected to punt it away. That turned out to be a costly decision. If they had gotten the 1st down there they could have kept driving and possibly scored a go ahead TD. Instead they punt it, BG gets it back and Devereaux scores to ice the game.
Playing well defensively for Guertin was John Miller, Patrick Flathers, David Hanna, Anthony Reale, Chase Hughes and Devereaux. For Spaulding, they were led defensively by Snow, Daniels, Casey Craig and Ryan Nichols.