EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

November 23, 2012

North Reading playoff bid denied

LYNNFIELD — More than three decades removed from the its last playoff berth, the North Reading football program has suffered through many losses. None, however, were as painful as yesterday’s.

With the school’s first postseason berth in 33 years on the line, the Hornets were unable to score after intermission as Lynnfield claimed the Cape Ann League/Northeast Conference Division 4 title and the playoff berth with a hard-fought 14-7 victory.

“We’ve had our share of losses that hurt,” said 10th-year North Reading coach Jeff Wall. “But this one stings because of what it represented. It was the first time we’ve had a chance (to go to the postseason in 33 years). The kids knew it. They knew what was at stake.”

That 1979 team won the EMass. Division 3 Super Bowl when only eight EMass. teams made the postseason.

The Pioneers (8-2 overall, 5-0 CAL/NEC Division 4) advance to Tuesday’s Eastern Massachusetts semifinals against Amesbury.

Instead of more football, the Hornets (8-2, 4-1) must find contentment in the best season in many years. The current crop of seniors turned around a program that had gone 3-18 their first two years in high school to one of success that won 15 of 20 the past two years.

“Obviously we started out with one win and two-win seasons,” said captain Carl Lipani, who capped off a stellar career with 100 yards and a touchdown on 29 rushes. “There was a hard a lot of hard work put into this ... Hopefully, we started a trend.”

Lipani, who rushed for a whopping 2,178 yards this season, provided North Reading’s only touchdown on a 1-yard run with 4:47 left in the second period, tying the score.

Lynnfield, which gained 164 yards more than the Hornets, took the lead for good with 4:21 left in the third quarter. The Hornets had only three second-half possessions and never got closer to scoring than the Lynnfield 32-yard line where they ran out of downs with 7:55 left in the game.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Is Taney a team of destiny? Taney Dragons wins in walk-off comback fashion Coach Rice has full confidence in Davis vs. Nevada SNC Minute: Maclin tweaks hamstring; Phils lose Bottalico: Giles 'has the makings of a closer' McCarthy and Stairs recap Phils' 3rd straight loss Training Camp Central: Eagles brave the weather in Foxborough Shady and Chip on 2000 yard season 3 takeaways from Eagles' joint practice in Foxborough Checking for Charity Hockey Tournament begins August 14th What are Eagles' options if Maclin goes down again? Mosher: Maclin disappointed after tweaking hamstring Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Eagles react to joint practice with Patriots Phils lose to Angels after 6th-inning blowup Bottalico: 6th inning was 'flat out ugly'
Boston Sports
Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Farrell: Bradley, Jr. sent to ‘maintain adjustments’ Farrell: ‘A ‘neighborhood play’ is not a reviewable play’ Bogaerts: ‘I knew he was safe if they replayed it’ Fans Excited For Patriots Preseason Kickoff Curran: Brady, Mallett & Garoppolo expected to play tomorrow Pedro Martinez on Lester: “I would like to see him come back’ Greeting from Foxboro: What to look for in Patriots-Eagle preseason game Pedro, Clemens and Nomar on the honor of joining Red Sox Hall of Fame Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Volin: Eagles vs Patriots may be a Superbowl preview Curran: Breaking down the Patriots Camp battles McAdam: Predicting Red Sox potential 2015 starting rotation Shawn Thornton hosts annual ‘Putts and Punches’ for Parkinson’s Golf tournament ‘Crystal Ball’-Who will be the Red Sox best starter in 2015? Curran: Mallett missing from practice, Gronk returns to practice Americans in the English Premier League