Middleboro strikes late to give Apponequet first loss, 15-12

LAKEVILLE — Throughout the entirety of this Fall II season, Middleboro’s football program has had to overcome a bevy of obstacles.

Faced with adversity once again Thursday, Timmy Crowley bailed the Sachems out in heroic fashion.

The senior quarterback completed 16 passes for 165 yards, and hit Connor Fahey for a game-winning 11-yard touchdown connection, as Middleboro rallied late to stun the undefeated Apponequet Lakers, 15-12.

“I knew going in (to the season) that we were going to be a good team,” said Middleboro coach Pat Kingman. “I didn’t know how good we would be. I think we’re the best team in Div. 6, I’ll tell you that right now. We looked at this, and called it the ‘south sectional finals,’ in my eyes.”

While offense was hard to come by, the game certainly lived up to expectations, based on the drama alone.

Liam Small got things started for Middleboro (5-1) with 8:07 to play in the first half, as he bowled his way through traffic for a 1-yard touchdown run. Matt Farley hit the extra point and the Sachems led, 7-0.

Less than a minute later, the Lakers (5-1) handed the ball to their star running back, Kevin Hughes. The senior sprinted to the edge, cut upfield, then shed four would-be tacklers before completing a 60-yard touchdown scamper, sending Apponequet fans into pandemonium. While the Lakers missed the PAT, there was reason to be excited. With the highlight-reel play, Hughes shattered the program record for rushing yards set by Nate Michael back in 2012.

“It feels amazing,” said Hughes. “I put the hard work in, and did all the right stuff, and it feels great. But I would be lying if I said that I did it on my own. I’ve got my whole team here, and all of them, whether they’re putting in the work on scout, or blocking for me in the game, whatever. My parents up there, my coaches, I’ve got to thank all of them.”

On their next possession, the Lakers struck again, as John Mahan III found Tyler Desrosiers open in space. The senior receiver jogged in for a 26-yard touchdown, and Apponequet took a 12-7 lead at the half.

With 3:28 left in regulation, Crowley and his teammates found themselves at their own 10-yard line. Immediately, the Sachems began methodically working their way up the field, as Crowley connected with Jake Segreve multiple times.

Then, with only a minute to go, Crowley looked briefly toward the sideline, then called for the snap. The next five seconds felt like an eternity, as the senior spotted Fahey in the corner of the end zone. He then let the ball go.

“I saw him,” Crowley said. “You could see that I hesitated for a second there, because I didn’t really know quite know where the defender was. But I saw him open, and I just kind of put it out there for him. He sat under it. It was probably the longest (play) I’ve ever had. I just sat there as it floated in the air. It was definitely a memorable experience, great catch by him.”

Crowley then connected with Small for the 2-point conversion pass, and Middleboro had seized a 15-12 advantage with 56 seconds remaining.

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