FOXBOROUGH — Littleton held the ball for nearly the entire first quarter of Saturday morning’s Division 6 Super Bowl against Middleborough, chewing up nine-plus minutes to take a 6-0 lead.
Enter Harrison LaPierre.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior wide receiver/linebacker was a playmaker on both sides of the ball for Middleborough as the Sachems surged ahead with 20 unanswered points.
LaPierre opened the scoring in the second half, scoring on a 22-yard throw and catch from classmate Evan Gwozdz, in which he stiff-armed one defender to the ground before picking up a block from Matthew Crowley. He finished with six catches for 95 yards.
On the other side of the ball, LaPierre registered over a dozen tackles and a pair of sacks while also breaking up passes from both William Scott and Luke Elliot.
“Ever since we came in freshman year, we talked about the dream of playing here and it all just fell into place,” LaPierre noted. “I can’t believe it, it’s unreal, nothing better.”
The players and coaches just wished they could have shared the moment with Scott Nelson.
The longtime assistant coach passed away suddenly a month into retirement, last July. The Sachems dedicated the seasoon to Nelson.
After the game, Gwozdz held up a No. 57 jersey in honor of an individual the players affectionately call ‘Nelly.’
“Every game before the national anthem, I think about ‘Nelly,’” LaPierre stated.
“He’s coached me for three years, and not a game passes where I don’t think about him pre-game.”
Middleboro was able to overcome the loss in their family by relying on the rest of the members.
LaPierre talked about the shock and awe of playing in the same stadium as Tom Brady, “but we just had to go out and make the plays we’ve been practicing all year,” LaPierre added.
“Being out there with my brothers, I love them all . . . I know they have my back and I’ve got theirs and that’s all that matters.”
The Sachems were able to execute down the stretch and despite another Littleton score, Gwozdz ran for two scores and found Davis Riendeau to push the lead to 43-20 with just over two minutes remaining.
At game’s end, Middleborough was crowned Super Bowl champion for the first time in 34 years.Cole McNanna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.