By Tim Lima
---- — BYFIELD — The Governor’s Academy put last week’s streak-ending loss behind it yesterday and beat Buckingham Browne & Nichols School 30-14.
While BB&N had its undefeated record broken at the hands of St. Sebastian’s School last week, The Governor’s Academy faced a loss far more difficult to handle.
Losing is something that The Governor’s Academy is not used to. In fact, last week’s 35-14 loss to Milton Academy broke a 23-game win streak. After such a disappointing loss, The Governer’s Academy knew that a strong week of practice in preparation for their game against a 5-1 BB&N Knights team was vital.
“It wasn’t just a normal week of practice,” The Governor’s Academy senior quarterback Tommy Vailas said. “Normally we don’t practice with full pads but this week we did. Coach (Jim O’Leary) pushed us hard.”
The tempo change at practice was meant to help the Governor’s forget and move on.
“We learned from last week,” O’Leary said. “We played a really good team in Milton but we didn’t play our game. We had to learn from it and just wipe it away. We had to start a whole new (streak). We had a great week of practice and we did what we had to do.”
If the Govs (6-1) were going to get back to their winning ways, it would have to be despite falling behind 7-0 and battling wind gusts of over 40 miles per hour.
“We talked about that the last few days,” O’Leary said. “We knew it was going to be windy but we thought it may be rainy, too. We had two different types of game plans to prepare for both. We are pretty good about grinding the ball out. That’s our strength so it probably worked in our favor today.”
Late in the first half, things began to look up for the Governor’s as miscues by the Knights were converted into points.
With just under three minutes remaining in a tied game, the Knights mishandled a kick return and found themselves on their own 5-yard-line. Three plays later, the Governor’s blocked senior Jimmy Cochran’s punt and recovered the ball at the 1-yard line. Vailas took it from there, sneaking his way into the end zone for the second of his three touchdowns on the day.
“(Vailas) is a mature kid,” O’Leary said. “He’s a student of the game, I think. He’s a very good athlete.”
The second half was dominated by the Governor’s as the special teams woes continued for the Knights. With three minutes remaining in the contest and the Governor’s enjoying a 14-point lead, O’Leary decided to attempt a fake field goal on fourth and long. Though the pass was unsuccessful, the Knights first down possession resulted in a fumble and was recovered by The Governor’s Academy.
Three plays later, the Governor’s once again lined up to kick a field goal. This time they attempted one, though, and had it blocked. The play resulted in a safety and two more points for the Governor’s when the Knights recovered the blocked field goal in the end zone before being tackled.
A substantial winning streak was lost last week, but the Governor’s were happy to earn the victory and get back to their winning ways.
“It feels great,” Vailas said. “I only have two games left but it feels good to start a new streak anyway.”