WALTHAM — By the time Waltham senior Dana Parello intercepted Ben Colello’s pass at the goal line, the game was all but over, the Hawks just under a minute away from winning the Division 2 North title.
But Parello, Waltham’s quarterback and defensive back, couldn’t resist taking advantage of the open field in front of him. He darted to the sideline, then turned up field for a 100-yard score, capping the Hawks 34-7 win against Lincoln-Sudbury Friday night at Leary Field.
It was a fitting ending to a game Parello dominated. He rushed for two touchdowns, threw for another, and recovered two fumbles on defense, one of which he forced.
“You always want to go big,” Parello said. “I tried to get as much yards as possible, it just happened that I got to the end zone. Great blocking, and a great way to end it. L-S is the biggest rival we have.”
Waltham (7-2) will face Division 2 South winner Mansfield (10-0) next weekend in the state semifinals.
However, the Hawks will have to do so without wide receiver Brendan Bonadio, who fractured his collarbone and hurt his ribs in the victory. Despite his injuries, he finished the game with six catches for 151 yards and a touchdown.
“Being a competitor, being a senior, last day on his home field, he wanted to stay in there and do the best he could,” said Waltham coach John Bourque.
Parello’s first score came with 1:03 to go in the first half and his team trailing, 7-0. He powered in from 3 yards out.
Waltham received the ball to start the third, and Parello led the Hawks on a 13-play, 73-yard drive. On fourth and 6 from the Lincoln-Sudbury 37, he completed a 19-yard pass to Bonadio.
Parello carried the ball three times for the final 18 yards of the drive, scoring on another 3-yard rush to put Waltham ahead, 14-7, with 4:24 to play in the third quarter.
On Waltham’s next possession, facing third and 7, Parello hit Bonadio for a 24-yard touchdown. The point after was blocked, leaving Waltham with a 20-7 advantage.
“We have been playing since Pop Warner, it’s just our thing,” Parello said. “[Bonadio] got open, I’m proud of him.”
Lincoln-Sudbury fumbled trying to run a double reverse on the next drive, and lineman Sean Reynolds returned the ball to the Warriors’ 45. On third and 7, Parello (10 of 18, 184 yards) connected with Bonadio for a 30-yard completion to get to the 12.
Waltham lost yards on the next three plays, setting up a fourth and 22 from the 24-yard line. The daunting distance didn’t matter as Moses Holloway rushed for a touchdown for a commanding 27-7 lead.
The play was designed to pick up just a few yards, but Holloway broke away from a pair of L-S defenders, reversed course, and broke two more tackles for the score.