By Justin Barrasso
---- — SCITUATE — A tremendous effort on the gridiron ended in heartbreak for the Triton Vikings.
Highly-touted Scituate (3-1) jumped out to a fast start, but ultimately struggled with the bend-but-don’t-break Vikings defense. Triton (1-3) played catch-up the whole way, never claiming the lead, and turnovers and penalties were a lethal combination for the Vikings in a 14-12 defeat on a soaken-wet, rainy night on the Cape.
Scituate opened the scoring with a 4-yard run from bruising running back Dawayne Kirton. Led by junior linebacker Pat Moran and his 11 tackles, Scituate struggled to find any momentum on offense. Triton built some rhythm offensively in the second quarter and found the end zone on a 12-yard run by quarterback Brad Whitman. The play was set-up by a Statue of Liberty play, where Whitman faked out nearly everyone in the stadium by dropping back to throw, but placed the ball behind his back and ran a sweep play for Luke Boyle to gain 18 yards and set up the score.
“Triton did a really nice job with the play calling,” said Scituate coach Herb Devine. “This game was definitely a battle.”
Scituate scored under a minute later, deflating the Triton momentum and claiming a 14-6 lead at the half.
“We just didn’t do enough,” said Whitman, who was responsible for both Triton touchdowns and threw for 110 yards. Whitman ran the ball in the end zone to cut the lead to 7-6 in the second quarter, and then connected with sophomore James Wood on a picture-perfect 28-yard strike in the fourth quarter to cap a 92-yard drive and narrow the deficit to two points.
“We fought hard and it was a good team-building experience for us,” said Whitman, “but we made a crucial mistake at the end and that just can’t happen.”
Triton had a second-quarter touchdown called back due to a holding penalty, then committed a costly fumble on the Scituate 19-yard line with just under four minutes remaining in the game on a botched handoff from Whitman to running back Justin Spillane.
Triton coach Patrick Sheehan found some bright spots in a tough loss for his team.
“Scituate’s a good team, but I’m very proud of my players,” said Triton coach Patrick Sheehan. “We learned a lot this week, got some tremendous blocking from [junior linebacker] Branden Tardugno to open up some holes, and we’ll keep working hard to get better. Our team’s M.O. is to never give up, and our kids played their hearts out tonight.”
Triton 12, Scituate 14 Stadium Field, Scituate
T — 0 6 0 6 — 12 S — 7 7 0 0 — 14
First quarter S — Dawayne Kirton 4 run (Frank Donovan kick), 5:16 Second quarter T — Brad Whitman 12 run (Kick failed), 1:35 S — Chris Bearce end zone fumble recovery (Donovan kick), 0:40 Fourth quarter T — Whitman 28 yard pass to James Wood (2-point conversion unsuccessful), 7:19
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Triton — Brad Whitman 12-40, Justin Spillane 20-50 PASSING: Triton — Burnham 16-24-110