MANSFIELD — After watching his group open the season 0-2, Herb Devine was nonetheless optimistic. While some people had been counting Scituate out earlier than league play, the soccer coach was holding out hope issues might nonetheless shortly flip round.
Just weeks later, the Sailors are again in a spot they discovered themselves simply two quick years in the past – one win away from the top.
Senior quarterback Jackson Belsan accomplished 14-of-18 passes for 189 yards and two complete touchdowns (one speeding), whereas junior working again Willy Robinson added 46 yards speeding and a rating because the seventh-seeded Sailors returned to the Div. 4 Super Bowl for the primary time since 2021 with a hard-fought 20-10 victory over No. 6 Grafton.
The Sailors (8-3) had been decided to show they belonged within the Div. 4 Super Bowl dialog, and so they opened motion with an extended drive. Facing fourth-and-long, Belsan determined to flick a prayer towards the tip zone. It was answered within the type of Sam Allard, who hauled in a miraculous and contested catch for a 37-yard landing.
Grafton went three-and-out solely to observe its ensuing punt try blocked. Scituate was fast to capitalize, as Robinson scampered for a one-yard landing. With 4:12 to go within the opening body, the Sailors had been main comfortably, 13-0.
“We were hoping to start fast,” stated Devine. “That’s kind of the plan. To block a punt and to capitalize on that, turn that turnover into points was huge. We knew they were going to run the ball, and they’re going to keep coming … our kids played outstanding tonight, and we needed it.”
Just when it appeared Scituate was able to cruise, the Gators confirmed their fangs. Finn Gilmore helped to key an extended drive in response for Grafton, capping it with a two-yard landing rush to chop it to a 13-7 ballgame with 11:48 left within the first half.
When Scituate wanted a solution, nevertheless, Belsan got here via within the clutch. The senior guided the Sailors on an extended drive within the later levels of the half, capping it with a two-yard landing scamper to place his squad forward 20-7.
Grafton would beat the buzzer with a 27-yard area aim by freshman standout Ryan Davis to trim the Gators’ halftime deficit to 20-10. That was as shut as the varsity would get, as Scituate compelled two important turnovers within the second half to ice the win.
“We love that people are not really thinking that we’re a contender,” Devine stated. “We’ve talked about that since the beginning of the playoffs. People kind of wrote us off this year, said: ‘Hey, maybe they will be pretty good next year.’ But our seniors that were on this team had different plans.”
Scituate appears to be like forward to Gillette, hoping to recapture the magic it found a couple of seasons again with a last-minute 14-13 victory over Duxbury within the remaining.
“That would be huge,” stated Robinson. “At the beginning of the season, nobody was believing in us. We were a young team. They thought we were going to come up short this year, but look at us now.”