MALDEN — In a couple of years, Mystic Valley could be a good football team.
With former Georgetown head coach Rollie Hinckley at the helm, the Eagles are struggling mighty right now because they’re very young, starting a sophomore quarterback, two freshmen running backs and a tight end that’s an 8th grader.
So, Greater Lawrence easily took care of business yesterday in a 44-6 rout at Malden Catholic’s Donovan Field.
The Reggies dominated on both sides of the ball, crushing the Eagles for minus-4 yards of offense while rolling up 263 yards of their own.
Cristian Rivera ambled for 137 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries.
Jake Barchard multitasked well, snagging a tipped pass and turning it into a 48-yard touchdown reception, sniping a Mystic Valley swing pass and returning it 49 yards to the house, and adding a sack and a forced fumble.
On the TD pass, Barchard said, “(Quarterback Marcos Ortiz) told me to look out for (under thrown) passes because his arm was a little rusty. In practice, we learn to look for the ball wherever it is. I saw it popped up, grabbed it and looked to finish.”
Practice helped on the interception as well, as “we do drills on that all the time. Practice pays off big-time,” said Barchard.
Late start, quick finish: Yesterday’s game was pushed back to 2:30 p.m. due to SATs but didn’t start until 3 p.m. as the Reggies were stuck in an accident en route. But when Greater Lawrence held a dominating 44-0 halftime lead, the referees invoked their own mercy rule clock management and the game was over around 4:30 as only 20 plays were run in the second half.
Six-point landing: Youthful exuberance cost Rivera a fourth TD. Sprinting untouched down the left side early in the second quarter, the senior decided to cap the scoring dash with a flip into the end zone. Instead, he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and the score came off the board.