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Central Catholic rolls past rival Methuen, 42-6

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LAWRENCE — What was billed as a highly anticipated contest between bitter rivals turned into a night of celebration for Central Catholic.

In front of a large crowd, Markys Bridgewater rushed for two touchdowns to lead Central Catholic past Merrimack Valley Conference rival Methuen, 42-6, on homecoming night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

All told, five different Raiders found the end zone with Matthias Latham (7 carries, 84 yards), Sean Mercuri, Markys Bridgewater, Mason Bachry, and Mike Ryan all scoring. Sophomore quarterback Blake Hebert had two touchdown passes.

“We got our running game going and we have three really good backs,” Central Catholic coach Chuck Adamopoulos said. “Since we run three backs and because of the non-league schedule we play our backs don’t have the stats other guys do, but we have really good backs.”

Defensively, the Raiders (4-2) suffocated Methuen’s rushing attack which has been spearheaded by sophomore star Shane Eason for much of the season. Central Catholic held Eason to 12 rushing yards for the night .

“I thought our kids on defense were outstanding tonight,” Adamopoulos said. “I am really proud of them and overall just thought we played a really good game tonight.”

The Raiders held a seemingly comfortable but close 14-0 lead at the half but blew the doors off the contest in the third. After receiving the kickoff to begin the second half, Hebert connected with Ryan for 18 yards before Mercuri shed six would-be tacklers en route to a 37-yard score and a 21-0 Central lead.

Following a Ranger punt, Central’s offense went back to work. The Raiders moved down to the 32-yard line before Hebert threw a perfect ball to Bachry for a touchdown to stretch the lead to 28-0. Preston Zinter put the final nail in the coffin moments later, intercepting a pass to set up a 16-yard touchdown between Hebert and Ryan.

Central Catholic broke the ice to open the second quarter. After Zinter picked up 19 yards on a catch and run, Bridgewater took an inside handoff and went the distance for a 46-yard score to give the hosts a 7-0 advantage. On its ensuing drive the Raiders doubled the lead this time courtesy of Latham. The two-way star took the handoff and busted through the middle for a 52 yard touchdown run and a 14-0 lead.

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