Reading B’s Rush for 5 Touchdowns and onto Championship Game
The Reading B’s (7-2) travelled to Chelmsford for a B Division Semi-final game against top seeded Chelmsford on Sunday. The game marked a rematch of last year’s B Division Championship game in which Chelmsford prevailed in the fourth quarter. 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 Chelmsford 28 yard line, with Haggerty on the tackle.
Chelmsford’s offense started with a pass which was broken up, and almost intercepted, by Lindmark. Reading’s defense, anchored by the defensive line of Ryan O’Malley, Nathan Strong, Leone, and Tucker, gave up no yards on the next two plays and Chelmsford was forced to punt. Reading’s Thomas Merkle returned the punt to the Reading 40 yard line.
Reading’s offense took the field and after a first down run ran by Leone, Chelmsford forced Reading into a punt at the Reading 25 yard line. Reading’s Dylan Sigsbury’s punt was returned by Chelmsford to the Reading 38 yard line.
Chelmsford’s next offensive possession went nowhere as Haggerty and Tucker both made big tackles and Chelmsford lost yardage on first three downs and punted to the Reading 43 yard line. Reading fielded the punt at their own 18 yard line.
On Reading’s next possession, the offensive line of Sean Crowley (center), Nick Genese, Michael Ohlson, Strong, and Jason Anderson provided good blocking for Dougherty as he got through the Chelmsford defensive line and outside the defense for a long run all the way to the Chelmsford five-yard line. Dougherty ran it in for the touchdown and Reading jumped out to the 6-0 lead with one-minute left in the first quarter.
Lindmark kicked off to the Chelmsford 40 yard line and again Chelmsford had no success running the ball as Haggerty and Leone make tackles and the first quarter ended. Reading’s defense started up the second quarter, where they left off, by forcing Chelmsford into a punt. The punt was recovered by Chelmsford at the Reading 48 yard line after it hit a Reading player and Reading’s defense had to stay on the field. Reading’s defense again dug in and forced Chelmsford to punt the ball and Reading received it at their own 18 yard line.
Chelmsford’s defense gave up little yardage on Reading’s next three offensive plays, but Dougherty was able to make a tough run for a key first down on fourth down. On the next play, Dougherty got free to the outside for a run all the way to the Chelmsford 10 yard line. Two plays later, Dougherty ran in for the touchdown from the seven yard line. Sigsbury hit Haggerty for a pass play for the extra point and Reading extended the lead to 13-0 with 3 minutes left in the half.
Reading’s defense continued to control the game as Chelmsford took the Reading kickoff at their own 30 yard line with a tackle by Andrew Jackvony. Tucker made consecutive sacks to bring the ball back to the Chelmsford 12 yard line and fourth down and long. Chelmsford fumbled the punt attempt and Reading’s offense got the ball back at the Chelmsford 2 yard line. Leone punched it in for the touchdown and Reading took a 19-0 lead into the half.
Reading received the second half kickoff at their own 28 yard line and moved the ball to their own 38 yard line before Chelmsford forced a turnover and Chelmsford’s offense took over at the Reading 38 yard line. Again, Reading’s defense stopped Chelmsford and got the ball back on downs at the Reading 30 yard line. Chelmsford’s defense stopped Reading and forced a punt to the Reading 48 yard line in which Haggerty made a great tackle to prevent a big return. Chelmsford’s offense started to successfully move the ball for the first time all game with a pass to the Reading 30 yard line followed by a touchdown run. Chelmsford converted the 2 point kick and closed the gap to 19 – 8 with 38 seconds to go in third quarter. Chelmsford attempted an onsides kick which was recovered by Reading at their own 36 yard line as the third quarter ended.
Reading put the game away on their next offensive possession as Dougherty made multiple runs to convert a first down followed by runs to the Chelmsford 28, 17, and 5 yard line. On first and goal Tucker dove into the end zone for the touchdown. Leone ran in the extra point and Reading extended the lead to 26-8 with four minutes left in the game.
Reading’s special teams came up big as Reading forced a fumble at mid-field on the kick-off and Dougherty quickly sliced through the defense for a run all the way to the Chelmsford 1 yard line. QB Sigsbury than took it in for the touchdown for a 32-8 lead and the final score of the game.
Reading will now face Westford Acton Boxborough for the B Division Championship.