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D1 football semifinals: Springfield Central 54, Methuen 14

Will Watson sparks Springfield Central on a roaring start in D1 semifinal win over Methuen

SHREWSBURY — Springfield Central got off to a slow start in the first quarter Friday night, but once they got rolling, the Golden Eagles were nearly unstoppable.

Will Watson, the University of Nebraska-bound senior quarterback, threw for 192 yards on 12-of-27 passing with four touchdowns as he led fourth-seeded Central over No. 8 Methuen 54-14 in the Div. 1 state semifinal at Shrewsbury High School.

“It’s going to be the greatest moment of my high school career,” said Watson about going back to the Division 1 Super Bowl. “It’s going to be the last time I put on this jersey. Last time putting on the pads with my brothers that I grew up with.”

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The future Cornhusker also ran for 123 yards on 10 carries.

“I think experience is great,” said Watson’s father, Bill, Springfield Central’s first-year head coach. “With experience, you get the understanding of the routine and knowledge and can eliminate some unknowns.”

The Golden Eagles will play No. 7 St. John’s Prep, a 28-7 winner over No. 3 Central Catholic, in the D1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium (date, time TBA).

The Rangers (8-3) weren’t even expected to be playing in this game. Methuen advanced to the semifinals after a thrilling upset win over top-seeded Franklin, avenging their loss to the Panthers in the playoffs last year.

“This is the best team we’ve had in 30 years for sure,” Methuen coach Tom Ryan said. “We have a lot to be proud of in our program.”