WEST NEWBURY — Pentucket appeared to be on the verge of its signature victory of the season before Amesbury grabbed back control of the Cape Ann League Division 3 title.
Amesbury’s Ben Cullen hauled in an 11-yard pass that had been tipped into the air for the touchdown that tied the game with one second remaining in the fourth quarter. Mac Short then booted through the extra point that gave the Indians a 21-20 victory Saturday afternoon.
With 32 seconds left in the game, star running back Cody Rothwell dove through the air and into the end zone for the touchdown that capped an epic drive and gave the Sachems a 20-14 lead.
Pentucket then missed the subsequent point-after, leaving Amesbury a window for victory.
“What looked like a heart-breaking kind of defeat turned into an incredible win,” Amesbury coach Thom Connors said. “I’ve been coaching 30 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of a comeback. That was a must-win situation for them, and desperation had come upon us. We found a way to win against a real tough team.”
With the score just 7-6 Amesbury heading into the final quarter, the game quickly turned into a shootout.
Three plays into the fourth quarter, Cody Rothwell finished off an 11-play drive with an 11-yard touchdown. He added the 2-point conversion to give the Sachems a 14-7 lead.
Pentucket then held Amesbury to a 3-and-out to force a punt, but turned the ball over two plays later at its own 14-yard line.
The Sachems held tough to force a fourth-and-goal. But, on fourth down, Matt Talbot was able to avoid pressure and swing a pass out to Tom Connors. Connors was met at the goal line by Luke Strangeman, but the play was ruled a touchdown to make the score 14-14 with 3:39 to go.