Zoraiz Saad was at a loss for words.
“Honestly, I can’t even think of what to say right now. I’m in shock,” the senior safety said after his fortuitous tip-drill interception in overtime sealed a gutsy 29-21 comeback win for Acton-Boxborough over Wayland, one week after missing out on a Dual County League title.
“That was the biggest moment in my life,” said Graham Brady, who had the initial tip that landed in Saad’s hands. “I don’t have any words really.”
After pinning Wayland deep in its end and getting short field position on a punt, Acton-Boxborough (5-1) quickly marched downfield to tie it at 21 with 40 seconds to go. Thanks to a defensive holding call, A-B got a second shot at fourth down, and Sean Kelly found Brady at the near pylon for the 4-yard score that forced overtime.
After Tyler Clayton plunged in on third down for the overtime score, Kelly connected with Jed Hoggard rolling to the back pylon in single-coverage for the 2-point conversion.
Saad then came up with the pick on second down in the bottom of the frame to secure the come-from-behind win and finish the season on a high note.
“We said in the fall that whatever we get out of this season is a gift,” A-B coach Tim Bassett said. “Don’t take a moment for granted, this whole thing can get shut down in a heartbeat. There were times I had no idea if we’d be able to practice.
“I’m so happy for this group. I’ve known these kids for a long time, so I’m happy they were able to go out this way.”
A-B’s Alex Berrouet (13 carries, 107 yards, 1 TD) and Wayland’s Jaison Tucker (100 yards) each surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for the Fall II season in six games.
And while Kelly (172 total yards, 2 TD) dazzled late, he also had to solve a tenacious Wayland secondary along the way. Safety Adam Goodfellow picked off Kelly twice, representing the game’s only two turnovers in regulation.
Ashland 29, Medfield 27 — With senior Nick Fish producing three touchdowns, including the game-winning 10-yard rush in OT, the host Clockers (4-1) overcame a 21-point first half deficit to clinch a share of the Tri-Valley League title.
Bedford 27, Waltham 7 — Jake Morrison cashed in on touchdowns of 1 and 11 yards and sophomore Eric Miles piled up 138 yards on 15 carries, punctuated by a 73-yard scoring sprint in the third quarter to help the host Buccaneers (4-2) grab the Dual County League win.
Boston English 8, Lynn Tech 6 — Junior Terrell Gethers (10 carries, 110 yard) scored on a 65-yard run in the first quarter and Keesean Kerr added the winning conversion for English (3-3). The defense limited Lynn Tech (1-2) to just 100 yards of total offense. Senior Josiah Jean sealed the nonleague victory with an interception late in the fourth quarter.
Chelmsford 8, Billerica 7 — In a Thanksgiving rivalry matchup that rarely disappoints, senior quarterback Brett Baker connected with sophomore Jack McCarthy on a 6-yard TD pass as time expired and then rushed in the 2-point conversion for the dramatic Merrimack Valley Conference win.
With 28 seconds remaining and no timeouts remaining in the fourth quarter, Chelmsford drove 76 yards in five plays for the win. Senior Mike Lupoli had three catches for 70 yards on the final drive.
“The kids did an awesome job managing the clock,” coach George Peterson said. “Just to be in a position to win at the end of the game was crazy. Against a rival like Billerica, every single year is a battle. There was no way we’re going to kick [an extra point] there. The coaches, the entire team rushed the end zone when Baker scored.”
Overall, Baker was 10-of-24 passing for 116 yards. Sophomore running back Ty Curran ran for 74 yards on eight carries. The defense held Billerica (1-4) to 100 yards. Senior Nick Bottomley led the effort with 14 tackles and a forced fumble.
In 2019, Chelmsford lost the Thanksgiving match to Billerica, 21-19 after a last-second field goal.
“We’re just really proud of kids,” Peterson said. “They held on just long enough at the end and gave us a chance to make plays.”
Dover-Sherborn 23, Norton 6 — Grady Russo ran for a 2-yard score and tossed a 60-yard touchdown to Johnny Bennett in the first half to propel the visiting Raiders (4-1) to the Tri-Valley League victory.
Ipswich 35, Manchester Essex 6 — Junior QB Aidan Arnold scored on a 9-yard keeper in the first quarter, tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Cole Terry (2 TDs) in the second quarter, and capped the scoring with a 64-yard scramble in the third quarter as the 20th-ranked Tigers (5-0) rolled to the Cape Ann win.
KIPP Academy 39, Essex Tech 7 — Juan Setalsingh (120 yards rushing, 80 yards passing) tossed a 2-yard touchdown to Taj King, ran for an 80-yard touchdown, and had a 78-yard pick-6 for the host Crusaders (4-2) in the nonconference win. Daniel Oluwasuyi had 201 yards on 15 carries including a 40-yard scamper in the first quarter.
Lincoln-Sudbury 49, Cambridge 0 — Four players scored touchdowns from at least 46 yards out as the fifth-ranked Warriors (6-0) rushed to the Dual County League title in Sudbury. Senior Gordon Gozdeck (four carries, 127 yards) ran for touchdowns of 46 and 73 yards. Junior Nolan O’Brien had a pair of punt return touchdowns — 56 yards and 61 yards — and a 53-yard rushing TD. Senior Jack Malone (four carries, 107 yards) ran for a 74-yard touchdown, and Jesse McCullough caught a 73-yard TD pass from Riley O’Connell. L-S closes its season at Reading next week.
Mansfield 34, Taunton 0 — Senior Anthony Comer blazed to TD runs of 46, 45, and 60 yards to carry the second-ranked Hornets (5-0) to the Hockomock League title.
Oliver Ames 12, Sharon 0 — Sophomore Chad Silva provided the offensive output, rushing for a 37-yard touchdown on the Tigers’ fourth play from scrimmage, and then adding a 1-yard score late in the second quarter to lift OA (1-4) to the Hockomock League contest.
Silver Lake 21, Quincy 8 — Austin Smith piled up 180 yards rushing, including a 10-yard scoring run as the visiting Lakers (2-4) earned Patriot League win.
Stoughton 20, King Philip 13 — Despite trailing 13-0 at halftime, the Black Knights (4-2) reeled off 20 second-half points to come back and win at home. Christian Ais accounted for 66-yard and 14-yard rushing touchdowns, while brother Christopher Ais added a 14-yard score.
Tech Boston 30, South Boston/Burke 12 — Dyriece Smith scored touchdowns of 30, 6, 65, and 73 yards in the Boston City League win for the visiting Bears (2-4).
Weston 7, Newton South 6 — Jojo Uga (103 yard rushing) scored from 23 yards out in the fourth quarter and Nick Ginovker booted the all-important point-after as the visiting Wildcats (2-2) pulled out the Dual County League win in snowy conditions.
Colin Bannen, Adam Doucette, Ethan Fuller, Ethan McDowell, Lenny Rowe, and Steven Sousa contributed. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.