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November 28, 2013

Golf-football transition fits Finn just fine

HAVERHILL — From August on, Shane Finn had heads shaking all over the Merrimack Valley.

It’s not easy to understand an athlete’s decision to leave football for golf as a junior, then to return as the starting quarterback his senior season.

But Finn made it work. He goes down as the starting quarterback on an over-achieving 7-4 Haverhill High team and walks away a hero, throwing the game-winning TD pass in a 28-21 Thanksgiving thriller vs. Lowell.

“I guess to some it was a weird choice, but it really worked out for the best,” said Finn. “Coming back, I really just wanted to help this team.”

Finn used his smarts in the fourth quarter, when Lowell jumped offside to produce the game winner.

“We have a check that if we catch the defense offside,” said Finn. “I saw them jump, saw the flags and adjusted. I threw it up there and Piero (Garcia) just made a great play.”

It was a stellar season for the Hillies and for Finn.

“Honestly, I don’t think things could have gone any better,” said Finn. “To go out like this, beating a team like Lowell, is all I could ever really think about.”

Surprising Samie

Samie Al-Ziab, who didn’t have a carry on the year, ran 12 times yesterday for 117 yards. ... Haverhill played nearly the entire game without sophomore halfback Ian Kessel, who went down with a knee injury on a sideline hit. ... Both Johnny Ramsdell and Tommy Maguire played key roles in the victory, despite playing in pain. Safety Josh Dion was a hit machine, despite the fact that he played with a cast on his arm.

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