NEWBURYPORT — A Pentucket football game is not for the faint of heart.
For the second week in a row, the Sachems (3-0 overall, 2-0 CAL) held off a final surge from a Cape Ann League Large opponent with their defense backed up inside their own 10. Once again, last night, Pentucket’s defense made a stop as time expired as the Sachems posted a 14-7 victory over host Newburyport (2-2, 1-1 CAL) at World War Memorial Stadium.
Pentucket defensive back Ryan Kuchar knocked down Newburyport quarterback Mike Shay’s final pass in the back of the end zone. The players on the Pentucket sideline then spilled onto the field in celebration after they realized the game was over.
The Clippers had marched from their own 6-yard-line to the Pentucket 9-yard-line in a span of 1:43, giving the hosts one final shot at the end zone with six seconds remaining. Shay rolled to his right with what appeared to be an option to run or pass. Neither option looked too promising, and Shay’s final throw found Kuchar’s down-swiping hands.
Last week, Pentucket beat Triton 19-13 under similar circumstances. The Sachem defense needed to make a stop inside its own 10-yard-line as time expired to clinch the victory.
“We have some kids who like to get to the ball,” Pentucket coach Steve Hayden said. “It was a great high school football game for the fans. It’s another week of enjoying good games.”
Newburyport’s final drive was a break from the norm on a night when both teams struggled to get anything going on offense. The turning point came early in the fourth quarter when Newburyport botched a snap on an attempt to punt the ball from its own 40-yard line with the score tied 7-7. The ball got past punter Brandon Trego, and Pentucket’s Jack Richard recovered on the Newburyport 25.