LAWRENCE — After catching the punt and breaking up field, Cody Demers faced a crucial decision.
“I looked around and I saw so many holes open in front of me,” said the Central Catholic senior with a smile. “I had to decide which spot to go. So I just ran towards daylight.”
Following a sloppy first quarter with no scoring, Demers took that punt and raced back 62 yards for a touchdown that gave Central the lead.
From there, it was all Raiders all the time as Central dominated Acton-Boxboro on both sides of the ball en route to a 35-0 drubbing in the Division 1 North semifinals. The victory sends the Raiders to the Division 1 North Final, where they will take on top-seeded Everett. The vaunted Crimson Tide have won three straight EMass. Super bowls and nine since 1992.
“We are so pumped,” said Central defensive back/running back D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie. “I haven’t played Everett since Pop Warner, so that’s exciting. It’s going to be a tough game but we feel like we can win.”
It hardly looked like a blowout early as Central punted twice and fumbled the ball away once on its first quarter possessions. But everything changed when Demers took the punt back for a score.
“Cody is a clutch player,” said Drummond-Mayrie. “Big players make big plays in big games and that was huge. It really sparked us.”
Two plays after that score, senior linebacker Nick Boes made his first of two interceptions of the day, and three plays later Drummond-Mayrie marched in from 21 yards out for his first score of the day.
Central continued to pour it on from there, as just one play into Acton-Boxboro’s next drive Demers picked off QB Hunter Arnold and Central closed out the half with a Mike Milano 4-yard touchdown.