Oct 1. 2014
By Michael James LeClair
The Nashoba Regional football team did all it could on Friday night but in the end it wasn’t enough.
The host Chieftains welcomed Mid-Wach A rival and unbeaten Wachusett Regional to Bolton on Friday night. The Mountaineers survived a late scare and remained unblemished as they notched a 24-17 victory.
With the win Wachusett is now 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the league while the Chieftains drop to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the league.
We didn’t quit but we made too many mistakes, we had too many penalties and we dug ourselves a hole,” said Nashoba head coach Jamie Tucker. “That’s two weeks in a row we haven’t given up and fought right until the end and that’s the most important part.”
After opening the season with a 35-7 win over Westborough on September 13 Nashoba has now dropped its last two games, including a 24-21 decision to Shrewsbury on September 19.
The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Nashoba, returning to action on Saturday afternoon with a trip to Shrewsbury to take on defending Central Mass. Division 2 Super Bowl champion St. John’s.
The visitors drew first blood on their first play from scrimmage, just 21 seconds into the game on Friday night. Connor Gill broke off a 60-yard touchdown scamper before Peter Baird tacked on the extra point for a quick 7-0 Mountaineers lead before many in attendance had even found their seats.
Nashoba answered the first time it touched the football as Kurt Arsenault rumbled his way into the end zone from midfield for a 50-yard touchdown run a little over a minute later. Casey Elkins added a successful kick to square the game at 7 with 9:33 showing on the scoreboard.
Wachusett reclaimed the lead in the second quarter with the only points of the frame when Cody Dickinson found paydirt with a three-yard touchdown run and a Peter Baird kick to make it 14-7 with 4:49 left before halftime.
Nashoba tried to cut into the deficit before the halftime whistle when Elkins attempted a 36-yard field goal on the final play of the half but his kick went wide left to keep it 14-7 heading into intermission.
The Mountaineers extended their lead to 17-7 when Baird nailed a 31-yard field goal with 2:53 left in the third quarter. It was a lead they would take into the final quarter.
Nashoba responded on its ensuing possession with a 15-play, 84-yard drive that began with 2:42 to play in the quarter and ended when Kraig Arsenault smashed his way into the end zone from a yard out with 7:26 left. Elkin’s kick made it 17-14.
The Mountaineers proved to be unfazed and made it a two-possession contest yet again with a touchdown run by Dickinson and a kick from Baird to make it 24-14 with 3:46 to play. However the scoring drive was almost for naught if it wasn’t for a huge fourth down conversion by Wachusett when it converted on a fourth and 5 from the Nashoba 40 with a 34-yard pass that moved the ball to the 6. Two plays later Wachusett registered the touchdown.
“The kid made a great play,” Nashoba head coach Jamie Tucker said about the fourth down conversion. “I thought we had him in the backfield, and then I’m thinking at least nobody’s open, but then the kid made a great play and a really good run, so that’s tough.”
A 27-yard field goal by Elkins pulled the hosts to within 24-17 with 1:44 remaining in regulation but Wachusett recovered an onside kick and was able to run out the clock to secure the victory.
Despite coming out on the short end the Chieftains defense had a handful of players raise their games on Friday night including Egan Bachtell and Greg Gothie.