ACTON – The Acton-Boxboro Colonials pulled off a come-from-behind win in overtime against the Chelmsford Lions to claim a 22-21 victory Friday night at Leary Field
A-B quarterback Cal Sullivan (5-of-9, 39 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions) found Connor Cates (69 all-purpose yards) for a four-yard touchdown pass on the first possession of overtime, and Cates kicked the extra point to put the Colonials up 22-15.
The Lions barely stayed alive on 4th and goal from the 6-yard-line, as quarterback Kyler Brown (9-of-16, 118 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions) found Joe Levesque (four catches, 31 yards) as he was tightroping the right sideline in the end zone. He nearly fell out of bounds before he made the catch, but just barely managed to tap his toes to cut the A-B lead to 22-21.
The Lions then decided to go for the win with a two-point conversion. They went with a bootleg play to the right, but Griffin Beaudoin snuffed it out and sacked Brown behind the 10-yard line to set off the celebration.
Although many fans were surprised by the decision to run a bootleg to the right with Brown, a left-handed quarterback, A-B head coach Bill Maver had a hunch it was coming.
“We expected the quarterback to run,” Maver said. “We took a gamble… they did a great job.”
The Colonials trailed 15-7 with nine minutes left in regulation, but after recovering a Chelmsford fumble on 1st and goal at their 8-yard line, they went on a 12-play, 92-yard drive in 6:15 that culminated in a Sullivan-to-Liam Murray (120 all-purpose yards, two touchdowns) nine-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion rush by Murray to tie the game.
A-B (1-0) opened the scoring early in the first quarter after a Jack Maddox interception set them up at the Chelmsford 39. It took them six plays and 2:16 to find the end zone when Liam Murray (120 all-purpose yards, two touchdowns) punched it in from four yards out.
The Lions (0-1) took scored the next two touchdowns, both by Tyrone Phet (24 carries, 180 yards). The first came on a 2-yard plunge that capped a 13-play, 80-yard, 7:01 drive to end the first quarter. He also tacked on a two-point conversion to give Chelmsford an 8-7 lead. Then he broke off a 55-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter to extend the lead to 15-7.
Before the game, the Colonials paid tribute to two Acton residents who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks, Phil Rosenzweig and Amy Sweeney, both of whom were aboard American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. Sweeney was a flight attendant on that flight, and her son, Jack, now a senior running back for the Colonials, was named an honorary captain for the game.