EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 4, 2012

High school football: Mystic Valley no match for Greater Lawrence

By Chuck Frye sports@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — 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.

“He came over and apologized to the coaches for doing that,” said Reggies head coach Tony Sarkis. “He’s turning into a man and he took it upon himself for making that mistake.”

Scoring avalanche: The Reggies ran up 44 points in just 5½ minutes of first-half possession time, averaging a point every 7½ seconds.

A rugged finish: With a tough Blue Hills squad looming next week and Whittier on Thanksgiving, Sarkis was happy his squad made it through Mystic Valley OK.

“(Mystic Valley is) a young team but we didn’t lose focus,” Sarkis said. “We did what we’re supposed to and we came out of the game healthy. Starting Monday, we have to have a good week of practice to prepare.”

Greater Lawrenc 44,

Mystic Valley 6

agateText:Greater Lawrence (7-2): 23 21 0 0 — 44

Mystic Valley (1-7):  0  0 0 6 —  6

First Quarter

GL — Cristian Rivera 22 run (Jake Barchard kick), 6:48

GL — Barchard 48 pass from Marcos Ortiz (Rivera run), 2:54

GL — Rivera 30 run (Rivera run), 0:00

Second Quarter

GL — Barchard 49 interception return (Rivera run), 8:37

GL — Julio Morales 6 run (Anthony Vasquez kick), 5:51

GL — Rivera 23 run (kick failed), 4:10

Fourth Quarter

MV — James LoChirco 74 fumble return (pass failed), 0:00

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING: GL (25-215) — Cristian Rivera 8-137, Shane Dunn 7-46, Ellicen Pena 2-14, Ryan Caredeo 3-9, Julio Morales 2-7, Joseph Pagon 1-1, Eric Rodriguez 2-1; MV (24-(-18)) — Amro Ali 8-20

PASSING: GL — Marcos Ortiz 1-1-0, 48; MV — Devin Pierce 1-6-1, 14

RECEIVING: GL — Jake Barchard 1-48; MV — James LoChirco 1-14