Red Pride captures Division 2 Super Bowl
The 7th-8th grade senior tackle division capped off its undefeated season in styleUpdated Wednesday November 23, 2016 by Tewksbury Youth Football.
Strong quarterback play, tremendous offensive line work, and a stifling defense has been the recipe for the Tewksbury Red Pride in the senior division of the New England Junior Football League all season long. And those facets were on display again when it mattered most, with the 7th and 8th grade squad capturing the Division 2 Super Bowl with an impressive 44-6 victory over Epping/Newmarket.
Tewksbury struck early and often en route to a big 30-0 lead at the end of the first half, and never looked back. It was a familiar scene with Tewksbury newcomer Ryne Rametta leading the charge at quarterback behind the stout line work of Asa Deroche, Aidan Leffler, Alex Newcomb, Steve Arsenault, and Lucas Tryder that propelled the Red Pride to an undefeated season.
Dan Fleming got things going on the offensive side, hauling in a 32-yard touchdown pass from Rametta for the opening score on the day. But it was Fleming and his counterparts on defense that sent the real message to Epping/Newmarket on the next series. The defensive line work dominated the trenches all season long, and this game was no different. Gavin Thomasset, Deroche, and Colin Bozek jammed the middle all game, with Kyle McHugh and Mike Duggan sealing the ends for Tewksbury. A key Deroche sack on Epping’s opening drive forced a punt, and the tone was set.
Each defensive series was as smothering as the previous, with Gaige Dobson, Colin Bozek, Stevie Arsenault and Mike Duggan powering the line, while Will McKay, Cameron Cimmino, Kyle Darrigo, Mike Kelley, Sean Kaiser and Sean Fahey owned the secondary. Darrigo picked up a key fumble recovery early, and an interception on the ensuing defensive series provided Red Pride with great field position again.
Just as Dobson put a crushing hit on the opposing quarterback, Tewksbury’s Hunter DeLonais stepped in to snag the pass for the big pick. Epping/Newmarket tried to adjust to the Red Pride’s shut down of the run, but their air attack saw similar results with some intense quarterback pressure from Deroche, Lexcia St. Cyr, Lucas Tryder and Aidan Leffler.
With the defense keeping the door shut, the Tewksbury offense efficiently moved the football downfield, and even turned to the back of the playbook for a little trickery.
After a Darrigo rush for a touchdown set up by a slick 23-yard Rametta to DeLonais connection put the Red Pride up by a pair of scores, on their next offensive series Tewksbury pulled off the halfback toss and pass. Rametta pitched the ball out to Fleming who returned the favor and delivered the ball back to Rametta for a 53-yard gain to set up the Red Pride’s third touchdown. Danny Lightfoot got the call and pounded his way up the middle for the score. Kyle McHugh’s second two-point conversion made the score 22-0.
Tewksbury was not done digging in their bag of tricks. On their next drive, with arguably the best offensive line in the league allowing big plays to develop, the Red Pride pulled off the classic “Hook and Ladder” play. Straight from a Hollywood script, Rametta hit DeLonais downfield, who hauled in the pass and flawlessly hit big man Cameron Cimmino on the pitch resulting in a 54-yard strike to the end zone. Ryne hit Colin Bozek for the conversion making it 30-0 at the half.
The Tewksbury coaching staff switched things up in the second, but saw similar results. Drew Timmons had some big tackles, while speedster Ethan Exilhomme’s 32-yard punt return kept the fans engaged. Richie Lavargna had some great gains on the ground to go along with Will McKay and Nick Tracy working out of the backfield with quarterback Mark Bradley. McKay found the end zone and Richie Lavargna scored the conversion making the score 38-0. Exilhomme found the end zone for the final offensive score of the day with a 38-yard touchdown making it 44-0.
It was a remarkable run for the undefeated Red Pride in Tewkbury’s senior tackle circuit, but the future looks bright. With the JV squad putting together an impressive 8-2 record on the season behind the likes of Aaron Connelly, Tom Crawford, Colin Goggins and Nick Tracy, the Red Pride is poised to defend their title in 2017.