By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken football team edged visiting Central 14-8 on a last-minute drive by quarterback David Lynch and the offense to remain unbeaten in league play this fall. Central's Judah Varfley would score a touchdown as well as a
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken football team edged visiting Central 14-8 on a last-minute drive by quarterback David Lynch and the offense to remain unbeaten in league play this fall.
Central’s Judah Varfley would score a touchdown as well as a 2-point conversion with just 1:36 remaining to give Central the 8-7 lead.
After struggling throughout the entire contest, the Hendricken offense would make the plays it needed to drive the ball 60 yards for the score. Lynch would connect with Andrew Picard on a fourth-and-4 situation and later hit Andrew Noland with a pass which he would run in for the score with seven seconds remaining.
“It was a great game, a great high school football game even for people watching that didn’t have a rooting interest. It came down to the wire and fortunately we made one more play than they made,” said Hendricken coach Keith Croft. “Every year you have to be battle tested a little bit, so hopefully we can use this to our advantage because in the postseason you will need to be able to come back and respond to teams. Our kids showed a lot of heart and character to get back down the field and punch it in.”
The game was a defensive struggle on each side. The two clubs were scoreless after three quarters and it was not until Brandyn Durand rushed for a touchdown early in the fourth that points were put on the board.
The Hawks struggled to consistently rush the ball and the passing game was largely grounded until the final two minutes. Lynch threw for less than 100 yards and turned the ball over on an interception prior to the game-winning drive.
“We went into the game wanting to establish the run. I thought we ran the ball pretty well, we didn’t throw the ball a ton. Central did a really good job of pressuring the quarterback and in that last drive, we threw the ball out of necessity. We felt that sense of urgency and threw the ball because we had to,” said Croft.“I hadn’t been in too many games like that in my career, so it was a good experience for our coaches and our kids. Hopefully it builds some resolve.”
Hendricken has been in multiple shootouts to this point this season. Croft was pleased with Lynch’s poise under pressure.
“It was really important for him. He’s the leader of our offense, and at the quarterback position, there is only so much you can work on at practice, but in that position, he was calm, poised and maintained his composure. He made the throws he needed to make and the receivers caught some tough balls. With the game on the line, we made the plays that we needed to make,” said Croft.
The win keeps the Hawks in the driver’s seat for a chance at a state championship spot while Central will now need to win out while watching South Kingstown drop its final two games to have a shot.
The Hawks have another tough battle this weekend when it travels south to take on SK. With virtually zero margin for error at this point in the season, Croft is confident in his group as it looks to get in the win column again.
“The one advantage that we have at Hendricken is that pressure is nothing new to us. It’s tough to put into words sometimes how you win a game like that. I can’t say enough good things about Central, their players and their coaching staff. It’s been a long time since we’ve played a game that close on our home field,” Croft said. “Central had a chance to win that game, but our kids have been there before, didn’t panic and went downfield.”
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