TEWKSBURY — The Tewksbury football team knows it has unfinished business to tend to.
A year after falling in the Division 3 Super Bowl, the Redmen began their playoff journey back to Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon at Doucette Stadium. Junior quarterback Ryne Rametta threw for two touchdowns and running back Kyle Darrigo scored twice as No. 2 seed Tewksbury held off No. 7 seed Lynn English, 31-28.
Tewksbury (7-1) will move on to the Division 3 North semifinals to play Concord-Carlisle.
“We try to be in the tournament every year. Every single year,” Tewksbury coach Brian Aylward said.
“We have expectations on our guys that they have seen it and now it is their opportunity to fight and keep us in the tournament, and that is what they did today.”
Lynn English (5-3) fell behind, 31-14, early in the second half after Darrigo went untouched into the end zone from 2 yards. On the ensuing drive, the Bulldogs embarked on a 16-play trek down the field that was capped by a Sam Ofurie 8-yard touchdown run.
This swung the momentum slightly back to English entering the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t until there was 3:15 left in the game that the Bulldogs were able to capitalize. Junior Tahj Purter took a handoff up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown to bring the deficit to 31-28.
Needing the onside kick with only two timeouts remaining, Lynn English was unable to recover and all Tewksbury was tasked with was moving the chains.
Of course, it was Darrigo and the offensive line who accomplished this. Runs of 3 and 7 yards put the game to bed.
“We have absolute perfect linemen up front who will give it their all,” Darrigo said.
“We just keep grinding and everybody has each other’s back.”
The teams entered the second quarter tied, 7-7, before Rametta delivered a dime to senior Richard Markwarth in the back of the end zone.
English answered on the following drive with a Purter 84-yard touchdown reception from junior Mathias Fowler. The Redmen scored the next 10 points in the half, on a Darrigo 5-yard run and a Tyler Keough 29-yard field goal.
Karl Capen can be reached at email@example.com.