BYFIELD — With the effort turned in by the Triton Regional football team over the last two Friday nights, a Cape Ann League Large division win would be a tasty, well-deserved treat for coach Jim O'Leary's crew.
The hard-nosed, hard-luck Vikes now have two shots left.
For the second straight week, Triton fought and put itself in position to win, only to be thwarted late, this time by Lawrence High, 19-15, in the fog last night.
"We're just so close to turning that corner, but we're not getting it done," said O'Leary, whose club falls to 4-5, 0-3 in the CAL Large.
"It's little mistakes, little lapses that are costing us the big plays. These kids play so hard. They play such a physical game. Teams leave here knowing they've played us, but we need to get one of those with a win."
Triton showed its mettle after the front-running Lancers grabbed a 19-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
Choosing not to fold and instead to fight, the Vikings mounted a 10-play, 67-yard touchdown march to make things interesting at 19-15 with 4:30 left.
Brendan O'Neil rumbled in from 3 yards out to cap the march and Sam Ferrara added the two-point rush.
Along the way, Ferrara hit tight end Mike Foley for a crucial 18-yard gain and added a 10-yard sweep to keep the drive alive.
Courageously, Triton held on defense and got the ball back at its own 30, with momentum and 70 yards standing between the Vikes and victory with 1:16 to play.
Unfortunately, an interception on fourth-down ended the night.
"It's confidence, knowing when we have to turn it up a bit," said O'Leary. "We're still looking for those guys to step up. I can't complain. The guys played so hard, and we're getting there. I told the guys we're real close."
Friday night, the Vikes travel to Wilmington before closing out the year at Pentucket on Turkey Day.