FOXBOROUGH — Forty minutes on the turf at Gillette Stadium on Saturday solidified what will be remembered as the first Scituate football team in history to take home a state championship.
But the road to holding up the Division 5 hardware after a 35-14 victory over Nipmuc began in September for the Sailors in a week 2 loss to Duxbury.
“I was coming home from the Duxbury game and I was sitting next to my left guard, Tommy Greene, and I said, ‘that team, they are top five in the state and we went out there and we played with them the whole game. This group here, we can do something special,’ ” said Scituate junior running back Will Sheskey.
“From there on out we believed in it and we came in every single day determined [and] fighting.”
Senior quarterback Aidan Sullivan completed 11 of 15 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns while Sheskey added two more scores on the ground and another receiving to push the Sailors (12-1) to glory.
“To bring home a league title, a sectional title, Thanksgiving Day game and now a state title, talk about a nice little sweep there,” said Scituate coach Herb Devine.
Nipmuc (10-2) fell behind, 21-0, in the first half after a Sheskey 1-yard run, a 10-yard pass from Sullivan to junior Nathan Gould, and a 69-yard catch and run by Sheskey. But the Warriors got within two scores right before the break. Junior quarterback Judah Dishington hit Matthew Richards with a 19-yard touchdown pass, cutting the the deficit to 21-8.
The Warriors received the second-half kickoff but weren’t able to take advantage of any of the momentum they had going into the intermission.
An interception by Gould gave Scituate possession on its 14-yard line, and the offense marched 86 yards on six plays, capped by Sullivan’s 19-yard touchdown pass to junior Max Roche.
“Our defense has been awesome all year long,” said Sullivan. “I have the utmostconfidence in my defense and they have the utmost confidence in me.”
Scituate added another touchdown to make it 35-8 as Sheskey found the end zone from 5 yards out for his third and final score of the game.
The 6-foot, 185-pounder rushed for 206 yards on 24 carries and had 78 yards on two receptions.
An 8-yard run with under two minutes to play gave Sheskey the school’s single-season rushing record — surpassing the mark of 1,755 yards set by 2014 graduate Dawayne Kirton.
PIVOTAL PLAY: Trailing, 21-8, receiving the second-half kickoff and carrying momentum, Nipmuc had a chance to crawl back into the game. The Warriors moved the ball 42 yards to position themselves deep in Scituate territory. Judah Dishington threw over the middle but Nathan Gould jumped the route and wrestled the ball away from the receiver for an interception. Six plays and 86 yards later, Scituate scored to push its lead to 28-8.
Scituate 35, Nipmuc 14
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
S — Will Sheskey 1 run (kick)
S — Nathan Gould 10 pass from Aidan Sullivan (kick)
S — Will Sheskey 69 pass from Aidan Sullivan (kick)
N — Matt Richards 26 pass from Judah Dishington (Matt Richards pass from Nate Gould)
S — Max Roche 19 pass from Aidan Sullivan (kick)
S — Will Sheskey 5 run (kick)
N — Sam Hilton 12 pass from Judah Dishington (pass failed)
RUSHING — N, Richie Broni 16-96, Preston Dougherty 1-0, Judah Dishington 4-(-15); S, Will Sheskey 24-206, Daniel May 1-5, Aidan Sullivan 3-(-8)
PASSING — N, Judah Dishington 17-29-2—213, Matt Richards 1-1--8; S, Aidan Sullivan 11-15-1—169
RECEIVING — N, Matt Richards 5-78, Sam Hilton 6-73, Nate Gould 2-31, Richie Broni 4-31, Judah Dishington 1-8; S, Will Sheskey 2-78, Daniel May 6-57, Max Roche 2-24, Nathan Gould 1-10.
More photos from the Division 5 Super Bowl:Karl Capen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.