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Governor’s Academy grounds out a win over BB&N – Boston Herald

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WATERTOWN — In the first half of Saturday’s Independent School League showdown with BB&N, Governor’s Academy coach Jim O’Leary only gave the ball to running back Matt Shaw three times.

That’s OK. He needed him more in the second half, anyway.

Behind a monster performance from Shaw on both sides of the ball, Governor’s led almost throughout and earned a hard-fought, 27-20 win over BB&N.

Governor’s improved to 2-1 with the win, while BB&N drops to 1-2.

After a fair amount of deception and passing in the first half, including a successful flea flicker for a touchdown, O’Leary opted for power football later on, primarily out of a formation called Stack — an I formation look with three backs behind the quarterback, who is under center. It worked to perfection as the Governors made just enough plays to win.

“It was something we had preached early this year,” O’Leary said. “We had gotten away from our Stack offense a little bit. We said this year, we’re bringing it back. Going to make this game simple. There are going to be drives where we need to go 80 yards and eat up eight minutes. The line was just phenomenal, and this guy No. 3 (Shaw) is amazing. They just played like warriors today. It was unbelievable.”

The pivotal drive came in the third quarter after BB&N’s Bo MacCormack (84 yards on 16 carries) rushed for a 19-yard touchdown to bring the Knights to within 21-20.

Governor’s took the ball at their own 26 with 9:18 left in the quarter, got in Stack, and rode Shaw down the field. On the 19-play drive, Shaw, a North Andover native, took the ball 15 times for 83 yards. The last of it was on third and goal from the 1, and he crashed into the end zone with 9:28 left in the fourth. That was an 11-minute, 50-second drive, exactly what O’Leary was looking for.

“I think we’ve kind of gotten away from hard-nosed football in the past couple years,” Shaw said. For us to bring it back, especially today, made a huge difference for us. I think we just beat them down in that third quarter.”

The Governors made two more stops on defense the rest of the way to clinch it.

The game started like it was going to be a shootout. On the first drive, Govs quarterback Owen Umansky hit Krystian Pothel on a 26-yard flea flicker for a touchdown.

BB&N responded when Henry Machnik found Ronan Hanafin for a 56-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive.

Tony Silva of Governor’s added a 1-yard scoring run, and Umansky followed with a two-point conversion rush to make it 14-7.

Shaw had a 2-yard scoring run in the second quarter, but Machnik’s 38-yard touchdown run soon after kept BB&N close at 21-14 going into halftime.

But it was Governor’s and its brand of power football that won out in the end.

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