By Allison Goldsmith
I&M Sports Editor
Photo by Jim Powers
Nantucket’s Hakeem Lecky drags down a Tri-County ball carrier during Thursday’s 35-0 freshmen team victory.
The freshmen football team blanked the visiting Tri-County Cougars at home last Thursday afternoon 35-0. Five different Nantucket players put the ball in the end zone to earn their second win of the season.
The freshmen squad is 2-0 overall and is scheduled to travel to Diman today for its final game of the season. The junior varsity team (4-0-1) was scheduled to play Tri-County Saturday, but the game was canceled. This weekend’s scheduled game against Diman has also been canceled.
Against Tri-County on Thursday, David Loveberry led the Whalers’ ground game with 10 carries for 61 yards.
John Higgins ran six times for 38 yards and one touchdown. Freshman quarterback Jamie Viera connected on three passes for 48 yards including two touchdown strikes to Josh Sibley Liddle and Lemarcus Lewis. Chris Welch added a 15-yard touchdown on his only carry of the game in the fourth quarter.
“I think it was a pretty good team performance both offensively and defensively. I was proud of my offense. They moved the ball really well and we threw the ball pretty well,” head coach Dennis Caron said. “We have good players. They work hard and they are very receptive to coaching. I think we have good leadership on our team. We have a lot of positive characteristics as a team.”
The Whalers’ defense kept the Cougars at bay for much of the game. Tri-County turned the ball over five times, including fumble recoveries by Chris Santangalo, Loveberry and Welch, and interceptions by Viera and Hakeem Lecky. Lecky’s interception in the fourth quarter resulted in a 55-yard return for a touchdown. Troy Sullivan also sacked the Cougar quarterback for a safety in the second quarter. Curren Huyser also played well on defense.
The Cougars’ freshmen team assembled a 27-yard drive to their own 42-yard line on the opening possession, but it would be the deepest and most threatening march of the game for Tri-County. The Whalers took over the ball on downs and in three plays picked up their first touchdown of the game. Viera ran for nine yards, Lecky picked up six yards on the second play and on the third play, Higgins ran the counter 28 yards to the left side for the touchdown. The two-point conversion fell incomplete, but the Whalers led 6-0.
The decent field position continued for the Whalers in the second quarter as they took over possession on the Tri-County 40-yard line. Loveberry ran 15 yards to set up the 25-yard touchdown pass from Viera to Sibley Liddle down the right sideline. Viera then connected with Lewis for the two-point conversion to put the Whalers up 14-0.
The Whalers would turn the ball over on downs on the Cougar five-yard line on the next possession, and in three plays Sullivan sacked the Tri-County quarterback in the end zone for the safety and the 16-0 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter with another short field, the Whalers drove 30 yards and Viera hit Lewis for the four-yard touchdown to put Nantucket on top 22-0. Welch and Lecky added touchdowns late in the fourth quarter.
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