The Winthrop High football team was hoping to continue the positive feeling after its memorable win over Saugus a week ago but Pentucket running back Cody Rothwell had other plans.
Winthrop’s defense was unable to consistently contain Rothwell (271 yards rushing, 4 TDs) and the result was a tough 26-21 loss to the Sachems Saturday night at Miller Field.
Perhaps it was the rare occasion of playing a Saturday night home game – the game was originally scheduled for Friday and postponed due to the inclement weather – but the Vikings started slowly and fell behind 12-0 after one quarter.
However, the Vikings would answer in the second quarter, thanks to last week’s star of the game, Ruben Powell, who made a great catch of a pass from Dylan Driscoll that resulted in a 31-yard gain. Driscoll then connected with Powell for a 15-yard touchdown. Eric Castro booted the PAT to close the gap to 12-7.
The Vikings would then take the lead on their first possession of the second after orchestrating what was arguably the best scoring drive of the season. With Driscoll running the hurry-up offense to perfection and Jordan Corbett-Frank taking control in the rushing game, the Vikings used ten plays to reach paydirt. Corbett-Frank, who scored on a three-yard run before Castro added the PAT to give the Vikings a 14-12 advantage,
But it was short-lived lead as Pentucket responded with a touchdown and two-point conversion to reclaim a 20-14 lead. Rothwell proved to be Mr. Elusive again in the fourth quarter as Pentucket built the margin to 26-14.
Driscoll found Powell in the end zone for their second TD connection and Winthrop was within striking distance at 26-21 late in the fourth quarter. But with precious few seconds remaining after stopping Pentucket on downs, the Vikings were unable to go the length of the field for the winning score.
Winthrop amassed more than 400 yards of total offense and ran more than 60 plays. Dylan Driscoll was 13-for-19 for 183 yards and two touchdown passes. Corbett-Frank had 13 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown.
“We had a great game on offense but we really broke down defensively,” said Driscoll. “Rothwell is one of the better backs in the league and we missed a lot of tackles but to his credit he makes you miss.”
Driscoll said the offensive line of Dan Feeley, Tommy Lund, Luke Hodgkins, Eric Castro, and James Baxter excelled and helped Winthrop produce 280 yards on the ground.
Freshman safety back Reese Turransky drew praise from Driscoll for his defensive performance. “Reese was making a lot of the tackles,” said Driscoll.
The road doesn’t get any easier this week as the Vikings travel to Amesbury Friday night for a league game against a team that averages 35 points a game and features quarterback Mike Talbot who has 11 touchdown passes to lead the division.