Byline: Bill Marsh
WEST BOYLSTON - With momentum gained from last Friday night's victory over Murdock, the West Boylston/Tahanto Regional High School football team will try to make it two wins in a row when it travels to Ayer on Friday night for a Division 3B contest.
Game time is 7 p.m.
Ayer is 2-5 on the season and 0-1 in Division 3B. Last week, the Panthers fell 35-18 to Lunenburg. Two weeks ago, they lost 24-6 to Murdock.
West Boylston is also 2-5 overall, and is 1-1 in the loop.
"Ayer runs the spread offense and the multiple-50 defense," West Boylston coach Dave Tinglof said. "It will be a tough game, but we're coming off a win and that should help us."
In a monumental Division 3 upset, West Boylston/Tahanto Regional defeated Murdock 22-15 at Goodale Field last Friday night.
Trailing 15-14 early in the fourth quarter, West Boylston drove from its own 32-yard line to the Blue Devils' 2 in eight plays.
Lions junior quarterback and captain Dan Polnerow handed off to junior Ryan Morris and junior captain Colby Bostek on the first two plays of the winning drive, moving the ball to the West Boylston 36.
On third and 6 from the 36, Polnerow faded back to pass and found junior fullback Shawn Harlow open over the middle. Harlow took it from there, rambling 41 yards to the Murdock 23.
Runs by Morris, Harlow and Bostek advanced the Lions to the Blue Devils' 2. On first and goal from the 2, Harlow burst off left tackle for a touchdown.
Bostek then bolted into the end zone for the two-point conversion, giving West Boylston a 22-15 lead with 9:31 left in the game.
The Lions' defense stood tall for the remainder of the contest, stopping Murdock twice on crucial fourth-down situations.
Playing the role of prognosticator, Tinglof predicted earlier in the week that his team would win the game.
"I told the kids that, if they worked hard all week, they would win Friday night," Tinglof said. "I've been with three different programs, but this is the best game I've ever coached."
Murdock, which had won four of its last five games, dropped to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in Division 3B.
West Boylston opened the game with one of its best drives of the season. After a 34-yard kickoff run back by freshman Bryan Hayes, the Lions took over on their own 49.
West Boylston kept the ball on the ground, alternating runs by Bostek, who rushed for 70 yards on 13 carries, and Harlow. The Lions drove to the Blue Devils' 10 in 13 plays, before turning the ball over on downs.