SEEKONK — There were times in Friday night’s postgame scrum with reporters that Seekonk coach Vernon Crawford lost the words to describe his senior quarterback, JT Moran.
That’s all right. Moran’s play did all the talking necessary.
In a tremendous all-around performance, Moran rushed for four touchdowns and threw for another as Seekonk defeated Fairhaven, 35-21, in the South Coast Conference Gold Division championship game.
“JT, we had our ups and downs freshman and sophomore year. But he grew,” Crawford said of Moran. “He took the time. He did all the right things. Took care of his body. Hit the weight room. I don’t know what to say. I love that kid. He’s one of my best kids ever. He’s tough to defend. Like I said before, he was the ‘X’ factor.”
He was the ‘X’ factor that Fairhaven had trouble with all night. In the first half, Moran got Seekonk on the board with a 2-yard touchdown run after the visiting Blue Devils (5-2) opened with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Cam Gordon to Jason Motta. Moran (188 yards passing, 154 yards rushing) then found Nathan Clarke for a 20-yard touchdown pass to give Seekonk (6-1) a brief 14-7 lead.
Fairhaven then tied it up on the second of three Gordon touchdown passes, this time a 7-yarder to Alex DeAlmeida. But Moran’s 9-yard touchdown run later in the quarter helped give Seekonk a 21-14 halftime edge.
In what was turning into a shootout, Fairhaven rallied to tie it at 21 in the third quarter as Gordon hit Motta on a play-action, 38-yard touchdown that was eerily similar to their first scoring hookup.
But Moran would not be denied. After a Fairhaven punt, Moran completed a 28-yard pass to Aiden Petersen, then followed with runs of 18 and 27 yards, the second of which went for a score as Seekonk took a 28-21 lead.
The teams traded turnovers, and Seekonk put it away on the ground, with Moran doing the honors from 36 yards out. That was all the Warriors needed to claim the SCC Gold Division title.
“My guys just came up and stepped up and played today,” Crawford said. “We weren’t going to be out-willed. I love these guys. We will not be out-willed. That’s what I love about them.”