'Cats hold back Devils; Bid for upset ends at the 2.


Byline: John McGuirk

WINCHENDON - It all came down to one play. One play and a crack at breaking a very long losing streak.

Murdock High trailed rival Gardner High by a touchdown late. But the Blue Devils launched one final drive.

With Murdock facing a fourth-and-goal from the Wildcats' 3-yard line, running back Austin Colston's bid to tie the game ended in frustration as Gardner's defense, notably Mitch Ryan and Andrew Guay, snuffed Colston at the 2, allowing the Wildcats to escape with a 14-7 victory last night at Alumni Field.

Gardner improved to 5-5 while the Blue Devils dropped to 2-9. Credit needs to go to Murdock coach Rob Allard and his staff for keeping a band of 18 players together this entire season and nearly pulling off a huge upset.

Following a 24-year hiatus, this series resumed last year with Gardner winning easily, 35-3. The last time Murdock defeated the Wildcats was way back in 1898. Gardner holds a 12-6-2 lead in the series.

"Murdock played very well and basically outplayed us," Gardner coach Walt Dubzinski said. "But we came and got what we were after, which was a win. We felt it would be a tough game. I don't care how many kids they have, they did a very nice job. We rose when we had to and we'll take it."

The Wildcats opened the scoring early in the second quarter. Starting from their own 33 midway through the first...

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