ANDOVER – Without star quarterback Ellicen Pena, Greater Lawrence went back to the ground, grinding out a 30-21 win over a rejuvenated Georgetown team that was winners of two straight games after starting the season 0-7. The Reggies are back to 5-5 with a Thanksgiving eve matchup with Whittier looming in two weeks.
Pena, who is second in the area with 1,661 passing yards and 14 touchdowns, suffered a thumb injury last week and is likely done for the season.
The Royals controlled the game for much of the first three quarters, holding a 14-6 lead at halftime and a 21-14 edge at the end of the third quarter. Sophomore quarterback Cooper Martens was terrific on the ground, rushing for 229 yards on 28 carries, including a pair of touchdowns.
But the Reggies found a way late in the fourth quarter, scoring twice in the games final 3:46 to secure the win.
“I’m so proud of the heart and guts our guys showed,” Greater Lawrence head coach Tony Sarkis said. “We were trailing and to battle back the way we did ... we’re a big family and the guys played like that today. This was a team win, all around.”
Early in the fourth quarter, the Royals appeared to be on the verge of extending their lead to two touchdowns, but a Martens pass to the end zone was picked off by Isaiah Roman on the goal line, and he rushed it all the way to midfield.
“He’s one of the smallest guys on the team in terms of size, but he’s the toughest and has the biggest heart,” Sarkis said of Roman, a 5-foot-5, 135-pound receiver and cornerback. “We were still trailing, but that play saved the game for us, no doubt. They score there, they score that touchdown, and we’re done.”
Late in the fourth, Yoel Batista corralled in a pass from Angel Martin near the line of scrimmage and hit hole after hole, turning it into a 42-yard touchdown. Teammate Jeremy Torres rushed for the two-point conversion, giving the Reggies a 22-21 lead with 3:46 remaining.