By Dan Guttenplan
---- — BYFIELD – The Governor’s Academy football team’s winning streak did not end just because a new season began.
The Govs opened their Independent Schools League schedule Saturday with a 20-0 victory over Lawrence Academy in Byfield. The victory is the 19th in a row for The Governor’s Academy, a streak that started in 2011 and has included two undefeated seasons.
“It was a good start to the season,” said Governor’s Academy coach Jim O’Leary. “Our defensive was impressive shutting out a very talented team.”
The Govs received a promising effort from first-year starting quarterback Tommy Vailas, a senior who is the younger brother of UNH starting quarterback Andy Vailas. Vailas completed 4 of 9 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a 4-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.
“Tommy played well at quarterback, and Brandon Lopez (of Amesbury) carried the load on offense,” O’Leary said. “It was a tough first game, and I’m glad we were able to come out with a victory.”
The Govs’ defense was the story against a Lawrence Academy team that is expected to finish in the top half of the ISL. The Govs allowed 157 total yards -- only 53 of which came in the first half.
Lawrence Academy quarterback Kyle Howes never seemed comfortable, completing 13 of 25 passes for 88 yards. Lawrence Academy’s All-ISL receiver Chris Garrison was held to seven catches for 48 yards.
Vailas’ touchdown passes went to tight end Dan Healey (25-yard reception) and Larsen Bidstrup (54-yard reception). The Govs will visit Rivers School Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
“We will need to get better in all aspects of the game to continue with our tough schedule,” O’Leary said.