It was billed as a classic "must win" confrontation for both squads, a battle which would pit brawn against brains, ability against spirit, and raw power against clever cunnery in a key mid-season intramural House football clash between unscathed squads.
When the smoke finally cleared yesterday at Webster Field, Kirkland House (that bastion of jockism) had emerged triumphant over Winthrop (the people's choice), 12-6.
K-House drew first blood on their initial play from scrimmage. Halfback Charlie Caro's 70-yard touchdown pass to speedster Jamie Egasti stunned the frozen Winthrop secondary. But Egasti's extra point boot went astray, and the score stood 6-zip.
Winthrop quickly returned from "Burn City" to knot the hard fought affair. 'Throp quarterback Brian Towne exhibited the form that made him an AllState New Hampshire gridder when he engineered a 65-yard, churn-it-out touchdown drive. Towne capped the drive with a 12-yard paydirt strike to sophomore standout Rob Inches.
The scoring parade continued as Kirkland regained the lead on its next possession. Signal-calling vet Fran Hickey picked apart the vaunted Winthrop defense on a 68-yard march, calling his own number on a two-yard keeper that went for six.
Don't ask the Winthrop eleven to chorus "Time's on My Side," because it wasn't late in the first half.
Desparately trying to beat the clock, the gallant 'Thropmen drove 87 yards to the Kirkland one-yard line. But the K-House front wall, led by the likes of tackle Tom 'Beef' DiBennedetto and fromer All-Ivy stalwart Carl Culig (now a Kirkland premed advisor), slammed the door shut as time ran out, thus preserving Kirkland's tenuous six point edge.
A scoreless second half featured much of the same. "Winthrop's offensive execution was superb," said K-House mentor Mike Faught, "but our defense was there when it counted."
So was Charlie Caro (this time as a defensive back) who picked off a Towne pass in the endzone to squash Winthrop's final drive late in the fourth quarter.
Eliot 19, Mather 0
In a lopsided romp over winless Mather, defending House gridiron champion Eliot House rediscovered the devastating offense that befits a kingpin.
Fumbles and penalties wreaked havoc in Eliot's opener, a scoreless tie with Quincy. (By the by, both teams are unscored upon). The plot was similar in the first quarter against Mather, before QB Frank McCann decided enough was enough.
McCann mixed plays superbly in directing Eliot to a 6-0 intermission lead. Halfback John Havins busted over on a power dive for what proved to be the only score Eliot's rugged defense would require.
Led by tackles Tim Ryan (interception) and Ben Kelly, Heimert's henchmen plugged more holes than Prestone, continually frustrating Mather's run-oriented attack. Linebackers Steve Berger, Mark Zbikowski and Gary Barrett, in tandem with defensive back Paul McNicol (fumble recovery) blanketed the secondary as well.
Eliot padded its lead in the fourth quarter with a pair of bang-bang McCann touchdown tosses to lanky sophomore Brian McAndrews. The scores came on identical fly patterns down the middle, the scintillating snatches covering 65 and 70 yards, respectively. John Hall added the extra point on the final tally.
Quincy 0, Leverett 0
"On any given day, we can tie any other team" Quincy coach Gary Bravo said after the mutual whitewash with Leverett. Last year, Quincy posted a 1-1-4 record. After yesterday's exhibition of solid defense and shoddy offense, you can expect the same.
Quincy allowed the lethargic Leverett gridders only one first down the entire afternoon, but couldn't unravel its own punchless offense in the turnover-marred debacle. Don Bodener earned the plaudits of the Quincy faithful, intercepting a key Leverett sling while also directing Q-House's offensive traffic.
"We marched up and down the field within the 20-yard lines quite effectively," said Quincy coach Gary Bravo, "but we just couldn't punch it over."
Bravo credited the two-play of the Quincy interior line for holding the fort in critical situations when Leverett was on the doorstep. Tackles Don McNicol and Nick Mamalis anchored the Quincy edition of the "Fearsome Foursome," while Bob Grady, John Bicknell, and Chuck Miller covered the secondary with aplomb.
Leverett, meanwhile, still searches for its first victory of the current campaign "Football is like life," tailback Jim Moore commented. "You have to fight the elements, and put all the successes and hearbreaks in perspective." And that, my friend, is what intramurals is all about. GAMES REMAINING (all games except Yale at Webster Field) Nov. 1--Quincy vs. Kirkland (2:15) Winthrop vs. Eliot (3:30) Leverett vs. Mather (3:45) Nov. 3--Eliot vs. Leverett (2:15) Kirkland vs. Mather (3:30) Quincy vs. Winthrop (3:45) To be scheduled for make-up: Eliot vs. Kirkland Nov. 11--all teams vs. Yale at New Haven, Conn.
(all games except Yale at Webster Field)
Nov. 1--Quincy vs. Kirkland (2:15)
Winthrop vs. Eliot (3:30)
Leverett vs. Mather (3:45)
Nov. 3--Eliot vs. Leverett (2:15)
Kirkland vs. Mather (3:30)
Quincy vs. Winthrop (3:45)
To be scheduled for make-up:
Eliot vs. Kirkland
Nov. 11--all teams vs. Yale at New Haven, Conn.