LOWELL — Central Catholic junior quarterback Ayden Pereira tossed a pair of touchdowns and rushed in two more to lead the Raiders past Lowell 38-13 in a Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 football opener Friday night at Cawley Stadium.
Central Catholic jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead, before going on cruise control in the second half to close it out. After holding Lowell to a three-and-out, Matthias Latham got the scoring going with a 1-yard run, which was set up by Pereira’s 37-yard completion to Richard DiMare on the first offensive play. Nicholas Mazzie booted his first of five PATs on the day, and later in the quarter he drilled a 31-yard field goal to make it 10-0.
The Raiders scored two touchdowns in the second quarter as Pereira found Mark Ciccarelli open for an 18-yarder followed by a great leaping catch by Preston Zinter on a 31-yard pass.
Pereira closed out the team’s scoring with two second half TDs from 1 and 9 yards out.
“Typically this would be our second scrimmage so we played like it was (our second scrimmage),” said Central Catholic coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “We have to clean up some stuff, but I’m happy with the way the kids played. They went to the ball, they made plays on offense, but there’s things we need to get better at it. Overall, we did some good things for an opener against what I think is a real solid Lowell team. It’s a good win out of the blocks.”
Both of Lowell’s touchdowns came from junior Aaron Morris. The first on a 13-yard run and then on a 62-yard interception return.
“He’s a stud,” said Lowell first-year head coach Bob Pike. “(Morris is) unbelievable. He’s the hardest worker, the most humbled kid and we love his attitude, too. He just wants to get better and make big plays and he can. He’s a special one. Everyone knows that he has speed but he’s a big kid, too. He’s like 5-11, 180 pounds and he’s strong.”