AYER – The Littleton Tigers capped off yet another successful season with a dominating 48-12 victory over the Ayer-Shirley Panthers Thursday morning at Ayer-Shirley High.
With the score 8-6 in favor of Littleton to begin the second quarter, the Panthers had 1st and 10 at the Littleton 15. However, three consecutive backfield stops by Tigers defensive lineman Brady Hunt led to a turnover on downs.
From there, Littleton rattled off 40 unanswered points, including two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns by Anthony Rausa, who racked up 140 total yards. 93 of those yards came on touchdown strikes to Jackson Ellis and Hunter Miller. Eric Rauker, who was named game MVP for Littleton, carried the ball 12 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns as well.
“Our starters played for about three quarters and Ayer-Shirley came out and played hard,” Littleton head coach Mike Lynn said. “They came out and hit us, their quarterback gave us problems and he did some good things in the first half. But then our guys started playing. We had a couple of untimely mistakes in the first half and our seniors rose to the occasion.”
The Tigers never punted, never trailed and held the Panthers to just 159 yards of total offense, 81 of which came on a first quarter touchdown rush by quarterback Steven Lawton (16 carries, 104 yards). Mick Mitrano had the other touchdown for Ayer-Shirley late in the fourth quarter.
It was the last game for an accomplished Littleton senior class that included Rausa, Rauker, Miller, Sawyer Landfors (6 carries, 82 yards) and many other key contributors. For Ayer-Shirley, they will return most of their roster next year, graduating just three players – running back Bryan Gintner, receiver Tyler Holmes and tight end Keith Kidder.
“This team has had a lot of solid players, a lot of very good players, but we never relied on one kid,” Lynn said. “It was different kids every game.”
“We’ve all been playing together for so long, we’re a pretty tight-knit group,” Rauker said. “We all work out together every morning, we all go to school together. It’s definitely something special, and I’ll miss it.”
Littleton finished the season at 8-3. Ayer-Shirley finished at 4-7.
LITTLETON 48, AYER-SHIRLEY 12
L (8-3) – 8 24 16 0 – 48
AS (4-7) – 6 0 0 6 – 12
L – Eric Rauker 2 rush (Anthony Rausa rush)
AS – Steven Lawton 81 rush (kick blocked)
L – Rausa 3 rush (Rausa rush)
L – Rausa 47 pass to Jackson Ellis (Rauker rush)
L- Rausa 46 pass to Hunter Miller (Rausa pass to Miller)
L – Rauker 6 rush (Sawyer Landfors rush)
L – Rausa 3 rush (Mitch Beaudoin rush)
AS – Mick Mitrano 2 rush (rush failed)
Passing: L – Rausa 3-3-95, 2 TD.
Receiving: L – Jackson Ellis 1-47, Miller 2-48, TD.
Rushing: L – Rauker 12-91, 2 TD; Sawyer Landfors 6-82 Rausa 8-45, 2 TD. AS – Steven Lawton 16-104, TD; Cole Casto 5-35.