DeSouza, Knights pick off War­riors

Boston Herald - - SPORTS - Twit­ter: @BobAl­bright1 By BOB AL­BRIGHT

NORTH AN­DOVER -Af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle had sounded last night and with the rain pour­ing down, all Gabe DeSouza could do was look up and smile.

The North An­dover se­nior in­ter­cepted a pass and scored on the third play of the game and his Scar­let Knights never looked back as they routed Lin­coln-Sud­bury, 42-0, to ad­vance to the Div. 2 Su­per Bowl at Gil­lette Sta­dium.

The win avenges a tough loss to L-S in this same game on the road last year, a game in which fright­en­ingly DeSouza col­lapsed be­cause of car­diac ar­rest.

“I just needed one play to let ev­ery­one know that I was back,” said Desouza (two in­ter­cep­tions), who put the hosts up less than a minute into the con­test when he snared an over­throw from War­riors QB Braden O’Con­nell in the mid­dle of the field, re­turned it 35 yards for the score and added the PAT for good mea­sure.

“I worked so hard to get back to this point. I’ve been think­ing of this game for 365 days.”

Stand­out ju­nior Freddy Gabin rushed for 77 yards and three scores and the swarm­ing Knights de­fense held a very for­mi­da­ble L-S (9-1) of­fense to un­der 150 yards of to­tal of­fense.

“Our de­fense was just tough,” North An­dover coach John Dubzin­ski said. “This game has been on our mind for a year and we wanted to come out and play our best foot­ball. Ev­ery­one clicked tonight, of­fense, de­fense, and spe­cial teams.”

Al­ready up 7-0, the Knights (10-0) found pay­dirt even quicker on their next pos­ses­sion as the speedy Dar­ren Wat­son (104 yards re­ceiv­ing, TD) streaked down the L-S side­lines 61 yards on a counter on the first play to the War­riors’ 2-yard-line. Quar­ter­back Jake McElroy (131 yards pass­ing) plunged in from there to make it 14-0 with bet­ter than five min­utes still left in the open­ing quar­ter.

A blocked punt led to the third NA score as the Knights took over on the L-S 29 and scored on a 11-yard run up the mid­dle by Gabin.

Wat­son fin­ished up the im­pres­sive half by the hosts when he took a screen pass from McElroy down the Knights’ side­line 51 yards for the score. Gabin closed out the scor­ing with a pair of sec­ond-half TDs.

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