PLAISTOW — The final score may not reflect it but, except for two drives in the first quarter, the Timberlane defense did its part last night.
It was the Owls’ offense that let down in a misleading 42-13 loss to perennial power Bishop Guertin.
The Cardinals did put 21 points on the board in the first quarter, but one came after an interception and, after racking up 177 yards in that opening period, they only had 122 yards the rest of the game.
Offensively, however, the Owls had little consistency. They did score in the first quarter on a 43-yard pass from Erik Nelson to Ryan McCarthy, who came back nicely to make a nifty grab. But their only other TD came late in the fourth following a fine 40-yard kickoff return by McCarthy and a terrific 27-yard reception by Josh David, who stripped the ball from a defender on what seemed like a sure interception.
Between those two scores, the Timberlane offense struggled, collecting just five first downs and throwing four interceptions, two of which led directly to touchdowns. Bishop Guertin also scored on an 85-yard kickoff return.
“After the first quarter, I thought we played very well defensively,” said Timberlane coach Kevin Fitzgerald. “We just didn’t have enough offense ... except for last week, we’ve had problems putting together a good offense game and a good defensive game.”
Defensive leaders: Leading the resurgent defense after the first quarter for the Owls were Cam Gargano, Dan Scalzo, Billy Joyce and Jamie Saltamacchia. Scalzo, a 5-foot-7, 150-pound sophomore who is a standout wrestler, did a fine job as an undersized defensive end.
Versatile player: McCarthy caught four passes for 80 yards, returned a short kickoff 40 yards and made several hard tackles coming up from the secondary.
Sign for the future: Freshman Tyler Furey ran the ball hard for 20 tough yards.