Lowell's Six Big Ones

Grin and Barrett

Bill Bossert, the merry meister of Lowell House, had seen a lot of frustrating football this fall. Standing by a pre-season promise to supply champagne if his Bellboys managed to score, he was down behind the Stadium for every game, bubbly in tow. And, by golly, as Bill might say, they finally emptied that picnic cooler yesterday, after Harlan Levine blasted his way into the endzone on the last play of the year.

Nothing was missing from this storybook climax to an 0-3 season of courage, good humor, and intense determination. Outweighed and outplayed by their opponents, as they have been every year for as long as anyone can remember, the Bellboys never abandoned hope, and for the first time since 1978, they walked away from a game with points they could call their own.

For those who missed the event, a humble reconstruction of one of football's finest moments at Harvard:

The referee's wristwatch showed 30 seconds left in the game. Dunster-Mather lined up at its own 20-yd. line, leading 19-0. Lowell had just missed its first field goal attempt of the year, and it looked like it would be another 11 months before the Bellboys would be back on offense.

Hoping to insult the beleaguered Lowell secondary one last time, Dunster-Mather quarterback Keith Douds dropped back to pass, not realizing that the men in black and gold had yet to give up on a play all season. The linebackers blitzed; Douds released a wobbly pass, and somehow, defensive tackle Tim McGuire came up with the interception.


"Kick it now, before you fumble," shouted the fans. Coach Mike Pontrelli shook his head. "One play, Harlan!" he bellowed at his 140-1b. field general. "One play, and put this one in!"

A three-year veteran who has completed almost as many passes to opposing corner-backs as he has to his own receivers, Levine nodded, returning to the huddle. Moral victory lay 15 yards away.

The snap...Levine rolled right, found no one...turned, back to the line of scrimmage, and ran to the left sideline... "Turn it, Harlan! Turn it in, baby!"

Three Dunster-Mather tacklers waited at the five, unharrassed by Lowell blockers...Levine faked right and plunged to the left corner, buried beneath a mountain of flesh and sweaty plastic...Pontrelli launched himself toward the reddish-blue autumn sky, as the four officials simultaneously signaled a touchdown.

"I'd have to say I'm glad for them," said Douds on his way to the locker room. "I've never seen a team want it so bad, and I have no idea how he got in to score...a great run."

"Clearly somebody wanted it to happen," said Bossert, nodding toward the heavens.

"All I saw was the goal line," said the hero.

Final score: Lowell wins, 6-19.

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