LYNN — Lynn Tech coach James Runner enjoys the two-back system. Very much.
Such a tandem served the Tigers well three years ago when they rode an undefeated regular season and went onto the state vocational championship.
It would appear as if the system is back in operation.
The Tigers’ Haidar Bdaiwi ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns Saturday night while Gabriel Perez stuck on another 70, plus the other touchdown, in a 27-7 win over Georgetown in front of a large homecoming crowd at Manning Field.
Perez’s stats would have been a lot more impressive if he hadn’t had two touchdown runs, totalling 31 yards, called back due to penalties.
“I feel bad for Gabriel Perez,” said Runner. “He’s worked very hard, and it hurts to have those runs (one for 18, the other for 13) taken away.
“But,” he said, “we feel fortunate to have two running backs. We liked to have a combination.”
Of course, Runner acknowledged that the backs would go nowhere without the offensive line.
“They really fired out,” he said, “and played pretty well. And then, when you turn them around and get them on defense, it definitely gives us a good pass rush.”
Georgetown quarterback Stephen MacDonald is mobile in the pocket, and he rolls out at the first sign of danger. Runner’s solution to that situation was set his two edge rushers looks to keep MacDonald contained. It worked well.
“He got out and threw a few times,” Runner said, “but not to hurt us too much.”
The win leaves Tech at 5-1 with a regular season game to go — Saturday at Northeast Regional (10:30) — before playoff pairings are announced the following day.
It was actually Georgetown that got off to the better start Saturday, twice putting together long drives (both for eight plays) that the Tiger defense was able to stop deep in its own territory.
But on Tech’s second possession, starting from its own 28, the Tigers got rolling on a drive that took the teams into the second quarter. Bdaiwi, Perez and quarterback Luis Pineiro led the way down field, and Perez running the final 18 for the score with less than a minute gone in the period. Bdaiwi’s kick made it 7-0 Tigers.
Another lengthy drive, this one from their own 17, gave the Tigers a 13-0 lead with 4:49 to go in the half. Bdaiwi’s 14-yard run, and a 20-yard pass from Pineiro to Carlos Mateo were the key plays, and Bdaiwi ran the ball in from 10 yards out.
However, on the ensuing kickoff, Matt Galley shot through the middle of the wedge and ran 75 yards without anyone touching him to the end zone, and MacDonald’s PAT made the score 13-7. But Tech was able to shake that off, and go 65 yards on 11 carries, with Bdaiwi’s 1-yard plunge capping the drive. Guy Morgan ran in the two-point conversion and the Tigers had a 21-7 lead at the break.
Right out of the gate in the third quarter, Tech appeared to increase its lead, but Perez’s 18-yard run was called back. The drive ended with an interception.
Again, later in the third quarter, Perez had a 13-run nullified by a penalty as well. That drive stalled at the Georgetown 10.
But with 5:55 to go in the game, Bdaiwi found the end zone on a 3-yard run to complete the scoring.