LYNN — It all came down to the final play of the game for the Classical football team, and a huge stop on the 1-yard line with three seconds to play sealed a 48-40 win over Brockton — a top-10 ranked team in the state — Friday night at Manning Field.
“This was a big win for us, and I’m glad we stuck in there and kept making plays when we had to,” said Classical coach Brian Vaughan. “But at the same time, there’s still plenty of things we need to work on moving forward. We’ll celebrate this win tonight, but starting (Saturday) morning it’s time to start focusing on the next game.”
Quarterback Daniel Gisonno had a massive game for the Rams, rushing for 197 yards and two touchdowns while also completing 14-of-20 passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Kalvin So rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns, while Kyle Durant, Brandon Summers and Maurice Sequeira each caught one touchdown pass.
It was a back-and-forth game from the very beginning. Classical struck first, with So punching in a 7-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game to put the Rams up 7-0. Classical quickly forced a three-and-out to get the ball back, and it only took one play for Gisonno to hook up with Durant on a 33-yard touchdown pass to quickly go up by two scores, 14-0.
But Brockton wouldn’t go away that easily. On the ensuing drive, Boxers running back Ahmik Watterson recovered from a fumbled pitch to run for a 64-yard touchdown to cut it to 14-6.
Classical came right back with a score of its own, manufacturing an 8-play, 60-yard drive that was capped off by a 30-yard touchdown run from Gisonno to go back up by two scores, 21-6.
Brockton answered again less than two minutes later on a pass from Devonte Medley to Isaiah Laguerre to cut the deficit to 21-12.
Brockton scored again on a 42-yard connection between Medley and Trey Ciulla-Hall to make it 21-18, but Classical never relinquished the lead.
The two teams traded scores one more time before the half — Classical on a 16-yard pass from Gisonno to Summers and Brockton on a 17-yard pass from Medley to Ciulla-Hall — to put the score at 27-26 Classical at the half.
The second half was no less action-packed. Gisonno hit Sequeira with a 12-yard touchdown pass to go up 34-26, but Brockton answered with a score to make it 34-32. In the fourth quarter, Gisonno appeared to seal the win with a 42-yard touchdown run with less than four minutes to go. But a quick-strike drive by Brockton ended in a score to make it 41-40 Classical with 1:58 to go.
Classical did score again — on a 36-yard run from So — but Brockton kept threatening. The Boxers moved all the way down to the Rams’ two-yard line with three seconds to go before Classical made the momentous stop to win the game as time expired.
Next up for Classical (1-0) is Northeastern Conference foe Danvers next Friday at Deering Stadium (7).