High schools

D3A SEMIFINALS: EAST BRIDGEWATER 17, NIPMUC 6

East Bridgewater picks off D3A semifinal win

BROCKTON — With his team ahead, 7-6, in the fourth quarter of its Division 3A semifinal against Nipmuc on Saturday morning, East Bridgewater senior cornerback Greg Plunkett lined up in the wrong position.

It’s a good thing he did.

Nipmuc quarterback Ryan Reynolds dropped back in the pocket, looked left, and zipped the ball toward a receiver that Plunkett was not assigned to cover.

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Plunkett jumped the route, picked off the pass, and returned it 16 yards for the clinching score as the Vikings (10-1) pulled away for a 17-6 win at Brockton High, securing a spot in the Division 3A Super Bowl on Dec. 3 against St. Mary’s of Lynn at Gillette Stadium.

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“He was supposed to be on the other side covering [No.] 86 and he just read the route and did the rest, that’s what Greg does,” said East Bridgewater coach Shawn Tarpey. “So I said ‘nice job being on the wrong side,’ that’s high school football for you.”

Nipmuc (7-4) had closed within a point, 7-6, on a 34-yard pass from Reynolds to Zach Hunter early in the third quarter. The Warriors had all the momentum when Plunkett lined up on the right instead of the left and made the play to send East Bridgewater to the Super Bowl.

“I just read the quarterback’s eyes, the guy made a quick slant so you have to make a play on the ball and I’m lucky I made the play,” Plunkett said.

East Bridgewater lost a heartbreaker to Northbridge, 36-34, in last year’s Division 5 Super Bowl.

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“It helps that we’ve been there, for years we were knocking on the door, wondering are we going to be able to get it done this time,” Tarpey said.

The Vikings scored first on Liam LeVangie’s 13-yard toss to Mike Khoury in the first quarter.

David Trask booted a 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.