PLAISTOW — Timberlane was playing without a full deck last night and it showed, particularly in the first half.
With star quarterback Evan Bidgood missing after having his appendix removed within the previous 24 hours, and with both starting tackles out with injuries, the Owls looked disorganized and sloppy (five fumbles, two of which led to Alvirne TDs) while falling behind 21-7.
After some halftime shuffling, Timberlane went to its ace, Josh David and, after falling behind 28-7, rallied dramatically only to fall heartbreakingly short, 28-27.
"We made a lot of mistakes and dug ourselves too big of a hole," said Timberlane coach Kevin Fitzgerald. "I give the kids credit for making a great comeback, but we just gave the ball away too many times (10 overall)."
One of two bad snaps on punting plays led to the first Alvirne touchdown, from the 4-yard-line, and a fumble on the 11-yard-line led to the third Bronco TD.
With Bidgood out, running back Josh David was inserted at quarterback and, with little blocking up front, it was not a recipe for moving the ball.
The Owls gained only 27 yards in the first two quarters and scored their lone TD on a 94-yard kickoff return by Ryan McCarthy.
In the second half, however, sophomore Erik Nelson came in at quarterback and David was moved to his normal running back spot. The switch worked wonders.
After spotting the Broncos a three-TD lead, the final Alvirne score coming after another fumble recovery, the Owls roared back.
David scored from 11 yards out to complete a 58-yard drive, making it 28-14, and four plays after a Connor Sproul interception, ran it in from 17 yards, making it 28-21.
Two minutes later, David took a punt deep, fumbled it briefly and then returned it 89 yards for yet another score.
But a bad snap foiled the extra-point try, leaving the Owls one point short.
Timberlane had the ball three more times but, despite the best efforts of David, could not score again, foiled by a pair of fumbles and a missed 40-yard field goal try on the last play of the game.
Alvirne 28, Timberlane 27
Alvirne (2-2):7 14 7 0 — 28
Timberlane (2-2):0 7 7 13 — 27
A — Brandon Rule 4 run (Antonio Beaulieu kick), 5:02
A — Rule 37 run (kick failed), 5:07
T — Ryan McCarthy 94 kickoff return (Jake Burke kick), 4:53
A — Beaulieu 5 pass from Josh Cohen (Andrew Stevens pass from Cohen), 0:17
A — Beaulieu 17 pass from Cohen (Beaulieu kick), 7:44
T — Josh David 11 run (Burke kick), 0:59
T — Josh David 17 run (Burke kick), 10:17
T — Josh David 89 punt return (run failed), 8:22
RUSHING: Timberlane (32-115) — Josh David 15-94, Evan David 7-39, Anthony Gillis 10-(-18); Alvirne (44-107) — Chase Clark 2-8, Kyle Manning 4-4, Brandon Rule 25-108, Ryan Donovan 1-1, Josh Cohen 5-(-16), Antonio Beaulieu 7-2
PASSING: Timberlane — Josh David 1-3-0, 25, Erik Nelson 3-7-0, 50; Alvirne — Cohen 3-4-1, 32
RECEIVING: Timberlane — Ricky Gulezian 1-25, Josh David 2-31, Efrain Rolan 1-19; Alvirne — Beaulieu 3-32
Timberlane junior Josh David did it all in the second half in its one-point loss to Alvirne. He gained 62 yards on 11 carries, caught two passes for 31 yards, completed a pass for 25 yards and returned three punts for 159 yards.