Winthrop clinched the Northeastern Conference South championship two weeks ago, but senior Bobby Hubert helped the Vikings close the season in style Saturday.
Hubert’s 8-yard rushing TD and winning two-point conversion midway through the third quarter boosted the Vikings to a 16-14 home victory over Masconomet.
Out of this senior class, Winthrop coach Jonathan Cadigan said Hubert has probably played the most. Starting freshman year as a running back, he returned kickoffs for touchdowns.
“He’s always been a guy that we leaned on for the last four years,” Cadigan said. “Just talking to our offensive coordinator before the game, we felt we were on the same page — if it’s a big down or a big play, let’s ride Bobby.”
On fourth and 12 with Masconomet driving, senior safety Ryan Hovermale made a play with 1:20 remaining to jar loose a slant pass and seal the win for the Vikings.
“I was talking to one of the coaches after the game how fitting that was for a guy that deserves to make a big play in a big moment – he made the big play,” Cadigan said. “Ryan Hovermale is just a tremendous player for us.”
Chris Ferrara punched in a 9-yard score in the second quarter, and Dillon Doherty tossed the conversion pass to Cam Conway for the Vikings.
Cadigan said six seniors on this team have been playing heavily since freshmen year. Ten seniors have been playing since sophomore year.
“Days like this are bittersweet, because these kids have been around the program so much. They’ve played so much football,” Cadigan said. “You’re obviously happy for them to go out as winners on their last game.”
For the past three seasons, Winthrop ended on a losing note. The senior class started out with a 2-9 record freshman year, then went 5-6 and 4-7.
“They can always come back any time they want, look in the gym, and they’ll see a banner with their year on it,” Cadigan said. “I’m just so proud of this team.”
Masconomet (2-4) installed a new offense just for this game, which led to early challenges for the Vikings.
“It was a great coaching move on their part,” Cadigan said. “It took us a little while to figure it out and get situated.”
Matt Richardson had two first-half touchdowns for Masco — a 41-yard strike to Corin Canada-Hunt and a 1-yard QB sneak.