Reading B’s Defense Shuts down Lawrence 13-0
The Reading B’s (6-2) opened the first round of playoffs as the home team vs. Lawrence at Wilmington High School on Sunday. Reading previously beat Lawrence 19-12 on October 21st with a winning touchdown in the final minute of the game. Reading’s Captains for this game were Ethan Haggerty, Carter Learned, Jackson Tucker, Jack Dougherty, and Max Leone. Reading’s Brendan Lindmark kicked off the contest with a kick that was returned to the Hurricane’s 44 yard line. Reading’s defense, anchored by the defensive line of Ryan O’Malley, Nathan Strong, Leone, Michael Ohlson, and Tucker, set the tone early by not allowing any positive yardage and forcing a punt which Reading partially blocked and recovered at the Hurricane 48 yard line.
Reading’s offense took the field and ran the ball effectively with Leone taking multiple carries and driving the ball to the Hurricane 24 yard line. Readings’ Dougherty than took the next carry and ran into the end zone for the touchdown. Reading 6-0, with four minutes left in the first quarter.
Lawrence started their next drive at their own 42 yard line and drove to the Reading 45 yard line with consecutive pass plays. Tucker stopped the Hurricanes push with a tackle followed by a sack to end the quarter, but Lawrence picked up the passing game again, to start the second quarter, and moved the ball to the Reading 12 yard line. Key tackles by Jason Anderson and Strong helped stop the Lawrence drive at the Reading 10 yard line and Reading’s offense took over.
Dougherty and Dylan Sigsbury made multiple runs to move the ball down the field as the second quarter wound down. Reading threw a deep ball on fourth down that was intercepted and returned to the Reading 21 yard line. Reading’s defense stopped the final two pass plays to bring the first half to a close with the score Reading 6-0.
Reading’s Thomas Merkle received the second half kickoff and returned it to the Reading 40 yard line. Consecutive runs by Leone moved the ball to the Hurricanes 43 yard line. Dougherty hit Sigsbury on a pass for eight yards followed by a Dougherty run on fourth and two to pick up a first down at the Lawrence 30 yard line. Dougherty got free for a run to the four yard line followed by another run for the touchdown. Sigsbury hit Haggerty for a pass to convert the extra point and Reading was up 13-0 with four minutes left in the third quarter.
Reading’s defense stopped Lawrence on their next possession highlighted by a tackle for loss by Sean Crowley and Lawrence punted to the Reading 10 yard line with one-minute left in third quarter. Reading moved the ball on the ground to the Lawrence 46 before being stopped and Lawrence took over as fourth quarter started.
Lawrence tried to get back into the game by throwing the ball and Merkle broke up a pass and followed with a touchdown saving tackle. Tucker made a couple of big tackles before O’Malley, Strong and Leone all got sacks on the Lawrence quarterback and got the ball back at the Lawrence 45 yard line. Reading was able to run out the clock for the 13-0 victory.
Reading’s next game will be against Chelmsford: a rematch of last year’s C Division Championship game.