NORTH READING — It wasn’t exactly gang-busters, but on a night where 2-7 Ipswich came to play, North Reading High got the job done.
The Hornets, now 8-1 and 4-0 in CAL/NEC4, will tangle with arch-rival Lynnfield, also 4-0 in conference, for the title on Thanksgiving morning.
The swarming Tigers held Hornet steamroller Carl Lipani to just 63 yards on 24 tries, but North Reading made plays when it had to and also got a little lucky.
C.J. McCarthy plowed in for an 8-yard TD run, his second score of the night to give the Hornets a 13-7 lead in the third quarter.
North Reading’s PAT kick was blocked, and then touched by Ipswich, making the ball live.
When Evan Wade pounced on it, it made the score 15-7 North Reading, and those two points proved to be the difference.
Both teams had chances in the fourth, and Ipswich had the Hornets on their heels in the waning moments.
But John Fortes stymied the drive with a huge sack, and Wade put it on ice with a final interception at the Hornet 1-yard line with 11 seconds left.
agateHed:North Reading 15, Ipswich 13
Ipswich (2-8): 0 7 6 — 13
North Reading (8-1): 0 7 8 — 15
NR — C.J. McCarthy 69 pass from Jackson Kellogg (Mike Disanto kick)
I — Peter Moutevelous 6 run (Peter Smith kick)
NR — McCarthy 8 run (Evan Wade conversion)
I — Moutevelous 84 run (rush failed)
NORTH READING LEADERS
RUSHING: NR — Carl Lipani 24-63, C.J. McCarthy 11-22, Mike Cresta 4-31, Scott McDonough 1-2, Jackson Kellogg 1-0
PASSING: NR — Kellogg 1-1, 69
RECEIVING: NR — McCarthy 1-69