ABINGTON — Trailing 8-6 midway through the second quarter, the Cohasset football team had a game-tying 2-point conversion pass turn calamitous when it was intercepted by Abington’s Will Klein and taken 100 yards the other way to give the host Green Wave a 10-6 lead.
What could have been a deflating moment turned into a rallying point, as Cohasset went on to score 27 points on its next 14 plays, riding 421 yards of total offense to a 33-16 over second-seeded Abington — the third straight playoff win on the road for the fifth-seeded Skippers (8-2) — to capture the Division 7 South title on Thursday.
“I just think the kids really stuck to the gameplan,” said Cohasset coach Pete Afanasiw. “From that first half on, they really felt that they were being more physical than Abington, which isn’t easy to do.
“They really did raise their game up tonight.”
After surrendering points on a failed conversion, the Skippers’ defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball back. The offense responded with a three-play, 63-yard drive in less than a minute to pull ahead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Lund to Mark Maloney.
Lund finished with 142 yards passing, 110 to Maloney who hauled in a pair of touchdown grabs.
“Matt has been so resilient,” said Afanasiw. “Kid never played a down before he got to high school so his learning curve is still on the upswing.”
Abington (8-2) began the second half with a fumble, putting Cohasset in good field position to set up another three-play scoring drive, capped by Jake Sullivan’s two-yard TD rush.
After Gabe Spry scored a 3-yard TD run to pull Abington within 20-16, the quick-strike Skippers needed just two carries from Gray Thomas totaling 64 yards to put Cohasset back up by double digits, 27-16. Thomas finished with 160 yards on 15 carries, which was directly attributable to Cohasset’s offensive line.
“Offensively, the line today gave Matt the protection when he was passing and opened up some nice holes for Gray,” said Afanasiw. “This win is all on the shoulders of that offensive line.”
On defense, the Skippers limited Abington’s rushing attack with a strong effort by the defensive line. Klein, Abington’s leading rusher, was limited to just 35 yards on 10 carries.
With the rushing lanes closed, Abington was forced to go to the air, which worked to little avail. Abington quarterback Christian Labossier threw three interceptions, with Cohasset senior captain Cliff Ward coming up with a pair.
“We just said, ‘If we contain Klein, and we take the deep passes out of the game, then we’re going to control how it goes,’” Ward said.
Dan Shulman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.