scorecardresearch Skip to main content

In a clash of ISL-7 unbeatens, St. Sebastian’s turns opportunistic for road win at Lawrence Academy

St. Sebastian’s freshman George Kelly (24) sprints to the end zone for one of his two touchdowns in the Arrows' 19-14 Independent School League win at Lawrence Academy.Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

GROTON — Behind a blend of youthful talent and senior leadership, the St. Sebastian’s football team came up with four key turnovers to spark a 19-14 victory at Lawrence Academy Friday night.

The Arrows (5-0) move into first place in the ISL-7 by handing the Spartans (4-1) their first loss, setting up another crucial test next Saturday (1 p.m.) against two-time reigning ISL champion Milton Academy.

“The culture at our school is unbelievable,” said St. Sebastian’s coach Dan Burke. “It’s all welcome, support, and brotherhood, and that’s also true on our team, and that’s what helps us play a full 48 minutes of football.”


Lawrence quarterback Mike Landolfi (14-for-21 passing, 196 yards, TD; 10 carries, 98 rushing yards, TD), a transfer from Hanover High, put the Spartans ahead by rushing for a 2-yard touchdown on the opening play of the second quarter, but then the Arrows defense stiffened.

Starting at their own 5-yard line in the final minute of the first half, the Arrows used five plays to go 95 yards with sophomore Ty Ciongoli (13-of-25 passing, 194 yards) of Wellesley hitting freshman George Kelly (Scituate) for a 49-yard touchdown right before halftime. In the third quarter, Kelly rumbled for a 21-yard score, adding a key pass deflection in the fourth quarter that was picked off by senior captain Zion Simmons (Mattapan) to deny Lawrence’s comeback bid.

“It’s the dog in us,” Simmons said about the opportunistic defensive play. “St. Sebastian’s football is all grit. That’s our motto. Our team chemistry has been building for months and today it showed.”

With Lawrence threatening in a 13-7 game, Jake Mulrey scooped up the second fumble by Gavin Hatfield (16 carries, 101 rushing yards) and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. Senior Jordan Atkinson (Dorchester) added two sacks, including a vital stop in the fourth quarter, as the Arrows were able to hold on despite a late 11-yard touchdown pass from Landolfi to Hatfield.


With so many talented freshmen and sophomores on both sides of the line, St. Sebastian’s is in position for a multi-year run.

“I’ve never seen as many really strong underclassmen on a team,” said Burke. “They’re playing confident, they’re ready to go, and the future is definitely bright with those guys.”

Friday’s high school football coverage:

Lawrence Academy quarterback Michael Landolfi (1) tries to elude a St. Sebastian's defender Friday night in Groton. Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe
St. Sebastian’s Jack Boyle (7) tumbles after catching a pass at Lawrence Academy in Groton Friday night. Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe