WALTHAM — It’s been about defense all season for Waltham. Saturday afternoon was no different, as the Hawks shut out No. 17 Lincoln-Sudbury, 12-0, at John Leary Field. The win propelled Waltham (3-1, 2-0), which hasn’t qualified for the postseason since 2000, into a tie for first place with Acton-Boxboro in the Dual County Large.
It was the second consecutive shutout and third straight win for the Hawks, who have allowed just 18 points through four games. Lincoln-Sudbury (3-2, 1-1) managed only 156 yards of offense — 46 in the second half.
“Defense has been our strength all season,” said Waltham coach John Bourque. “We’ve got a lot of seniors on the defense, a lot of guys that have played for us for the last three years. There’s a level of confidence on the defensive side of the ball.”
Hawks senior quarterback/linebacker Dana Parello, who is still recovering from a knee injury suffered in Week 1, was a catalyst. He had two interceptions on defense and tallied 150 yards rushing and 120 passing.
“Dana is the pulse of the team,” said Bourque. “He’s battled. He had a knee injury in the first game, he had a bone bruise in his knee. He’s still kind of nursing that. He’s a plugger, he’s a competitor. I think he played well.”
Early in the second quarter, Parello appeared to put the Hawks on the board with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Smith on third and 12. But Smith couldn’t hang onto the ball as he crashed to the turf at the goal line. Junior Randy Alay then drilled a 32-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
With the Warriors threatening to take the lead on the next drive, L-S quarterback Ben Colello heaved one toward the end zone, but Parello was there to make a sprawling interception at the goal line with 2:54 to go in the half.
“They ran the same play twice, so I read that their second wide receiver went out and I knew that they were going to pass it to him,” said Parello. “I just read it great and picked it off.”
Parello threw for 61 yards on the next drive, leading the Hawks to the Lincoln-Sudbury 13.
Parello once again had a receiver open in the end zone, but the pass was dropped on third and 10.
Alay converted his second field goal, a 30-yarder, with 14 seconds remaining before halftime.
The only touchdown of the day came with 8:53 left in the game. Senior Kens Morantus broke up the right sideline and pulled away from the defense for a 42-yard score that extended Waltham’s lead to 12-0.
Colello was picked again on the ensuing drive by Aidan Stanowicz, giving the Hawks the ball back with 6:27 to go. Waltham drained the remainder of the clock with nine straight rushing plays.