LYNN — A week after being eliminated from title contention, the character of the Whittier Wildcats was once again put to the test.
“You get knocked out of the tournament and you see what type of character the kids have, and our kids gave everything that they had here tonight,” said Whittier head coach Kevin Bradley following his team’s 28-14 loss to St. Mary’s in a Division 5 North consolation round game.
Both teams were eliminated from the tournament last week.
Whittier held an 8-6 lead going into the second quarter after a 1-yard sneak by Jaylin Deveau. Deveau scores again late in the fourth quarter, but not before St. Mary’s rattled off 22-unanswered points in the second and third quarters.
Whittier (5-4) had a tough time containing the run. St. Mary’s ran to the tune of 247 yards and ate up a lot of clock in the process. The Wildcats’ offense barely had a chance to get its hands on the ball.
The bulk of the work was done by St. Mary’s 5-11, 180-pound running back Connor Sakowich.
Sakowich ran circles around Whittier’s defense, running for two touchdowns and catching two more. He almost had a 92-yard touchdown run as well, but it was called back on a holding penalty.
The game started to swing St. Mary’s way after a Whittier fumble in the final four minutes of the first half. St. Mary’s drove down a short field and converted two fourth downs en route to a touchdown with 21 seconds remaining in the half. The Spartans went into the half with a 22-8 lead.
St. Mary’s scored on their first drive of the second half. After that, Whittier’s defense tightened up. In the Spartans’ remaining three drives, Whittier forced two fumbles and a punt.
Whittier junior running back Jesus Sanchez ran hard, and senior running back Scott Bonneau tallied 76 yards of total offense on just six touches.