LYNN — Trailing by two touchdowns after just two possessions, Greater Lawrence suddenly seemed to steal back the game.
The Reggies scored once to start the second, then caused a fumble and marched to the 10-yard line poised for another touchdown.
But a costly penalty spoiled the Greater Lawrence drive, and that the proved to be the Reggies’ final golden opportunity to score as they fell to Greater New Bedford 20-6 in the State Vocational Bowl at a frigid Manning Field.
It was the second straight season the two teams had matched up in the Tech Bowl, with New Bedford prevailing a season ago as well, 17-14.
“That was a really good team,” said quarterback Marcos Ortiz. “But I’m not sure if we came out too nervous or what, because we couldn’t settle in and find a rhythm.”
The Bears showed their muscle out of the gates with a 10-play scoring drive that ate the first 5:10 of the game. After holding the Reggies to a 3-and-out on their first possession, Greater New Bedford struck again, this time in just three plays to make it 14-0.
“I said that, if we didn’t make mistakes we could win this,” said Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis. “But we made mental and physical mistakes and that put us in a tough hole.”
The Reggies, however, were able to bounce back led by star running back Cristian Rivera. Greater Lawrence opened the second half with a 72-yard drive that Rivera finished off with a 22-yard sprint into the end zone.
After the two teams exchanged 3-and-outs, the Reggies forced a fumble that was recovered by Ryan Caredeo, and marched to the Bears’ 10-yard line.
“We finally got into a rhythm and we starting to make a few plays,” said Ortiz. “We were even turning the momentum. But then we started making mistakes.”