WESTFORD — With 36 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the score tied, 7-7, it appeared Lincoln-Sudbury and host Westford were headed for overtime.
Marquis Simmons had other ideas.
The Warriors senior receiver leapt over two defenders to haul in a Henry Guild pass, then slipped a tackle and raced home on a 52-yard touchdown with 26 seconds to go. The score gave No. 17 L-S a 14-7 victory over the No. 19 Grey Ghosts.
Guild described the pass as a Hail Mary where he looked to give his receiver an opportunity to make a play.
“Most of the passing touchdowns I’ve thrown to [Simmons] have been high jump balls where he just goes over kids,” Guild said. “He’s 6-foot-3 with long arms, so when it’s a jump ball he’s got it every time.”
The dramatic game-winner came one play after an interception by Warriors defender Dario Morando at L-S’s 48-yard-line. The Warriors defense stifled the Grey Ghosts’ no huddle offense, forcing three turnovers.
“Offensively, [Westford] is outstanding,” said L-S coach Tom Lopez. “Defensively, we couldn’t have asked our kids to do any better. I couldn’t be happier with how the kids played.”
The Warriors (7-1, 2-0 Dual County Large) got a big play from their defense on the third series of the game when Morando recovered a fumble at the Grey Ghosts’ 17. Three plays later, Guild scored from five yards out on a naked bootleg, beating the Westford defenders to the pylon for a 7-0 L-S lead.
After a three and out by L-S on the first possession of the third quarter, Westford (6-2, 1-1 Dual County Large) went on the attack, driving 56 yards in 10 plays. The Grey Ghosts had a first and goal from the L-S 3-yard line, but four consecutive stops kept the hosts off the scoreboard.
“We had that goal line stop from inside the 1-yard line, that was huge,” Lopez said. “Our defense was outstanding tonight.”
After another three and out from L-S and a shaky punt that netted only 17 yards, Westford finally got on the board. Quarterback Troy Faretra snuck home from one yard out on the final play of the third to knot the score.