EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 6, 2012

Rivera, defense lead Reggies to victory

ANDOVER — Cristian Rivera’s 68-yard run down the left sideline was the sweetest play of his really sweet day.

Rivera did it all, rushing for 231 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. He also made a strip and fumble recovery on defense, leading Greater Lawrence to a 34-8 rout over Greater Lowell.

“That’s the kind of back he is right there,” Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis said about Rivera. “He just kind of pounded it. ... He ran like a bull today.”

Great second half: The Reggies led just 12-8 at halftime before Rivera and the defense dominated the second half. “The first half, I wasn’t too happy with that,” Rivera said. “We weren’t playing Reggie football the first half. Second half we really picked it up, played Reggie football and took it to ‘em.”

Backup QB earns game ball: Backup quarterback Ellicen Pena started and played all game for the Reggies.

He only completed 1 of 8 passes but earned the game ball because as head coach Tony Sarkis said, his receivers had several drops.

Starting quarterback Marcos Ortiz was sick all week.

“He (Ortiz) was in street clothes here,” Sarkis said. “He’s been trying to kind of fight that bug and it just wasn’t working out for him.”

Abreu scores second TD: Angel Abreu scored his second touchdown of the year when he fell on a fumble in the end zone. He forced the ball loose.

Abreu scored his first touchdown in the first game of the year when he recorded a 26 yard interception return against Pope John.

“At the beginning we (the defense) kind of struggled on the A gaps,” Abreu said. “But my linemen, they picked it up.”

Defense Defense!: Steven Gieng also recovered a fumble after forcing it with a hard tackle.

“If it wasn’t for the defense in the first half we wouldn’t have been in the game,” Sarkis said. “I give them credit. They played very hard.”

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