MEDFIELD — The Scituate football team rode a late first-half swing to the first sectional final in program history, stopping hosting Medfield, 38-21, in a Division 5 South semifinal on Friday night.
“I’m so happy for these guys to play in the final,” said Scituate coach Herb Devine. “Last week [in a 28-14 win over Holliston] we won the first playoff game ever and then this week they got their second one, so they’re excited.”
A 15-play, 93-yard drive through much of the second quarter proved to be the turning point for the Sailors (8-1), who play at Dennis-Yarmouth in the South final Friday night at 6.
Senior back Andrew Blanchard (28 carries, 105 yards, 2 TDs) rumbled for a 10-yard touchdown, putting Scituate ahead 21-7.
“The last couple games, we’ve given him the ball,” said Devine. “What we try to do is take what the defense is giving us and early on we thought we could run the ball on them.”
Two plays later, after a kick return gave Medfield the ball in Scituate territory, Abel Lopes (2 interceptions) intercepted Warriors quarterback Mitchell Gonser, returning it 50 yards.
The interception return set up a 14-yard touchdown pass to Max Roche as time expired in the first half, putting the Sailors ahead at the break, 28-7. It was Roche’s second touchdown catch of the game, matching his total for the season.
“Coach Devine was actually telling me to throw it out of bounds,” said junior quarterback Aidan Sullivan, who was nearly perfect, completing 19 of his 21 passes — including his final 14 — for 191 yards.
“But then I made a move and saw my tight-end Max in the back of the endzone and just threw it there.”
Scituate utilized its ground game in the second half, running on 21 of its 26 plays from scrimmage. The lone Sailors’ touchdown, however, came through the air as Lopes reeled in a 10-yard pass from Sullivan, bouncing off two Medfield tacklers to score.
Lopes finished the night with six catches for 58 yards, one rush for 6 yards, and two interceptions returned for 64 yards.
“He’s a special player,” Devine said. “He’s been making plays all year long and tonight’s another night.”
Dan Shulman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.