BILLERICA – For the first time in a decade, the Billerica Indians defeated archrival Tewksbury, 35-21, in a wild game played Friday night between two previously undefeated teams before a large crowd at Billerica Memorial High School.
Senior quarterback JT Green rushed for 105 yards with a score, threw two touchdown passes and 117 yards, and watched teammate Sebastian St. Pierre score two kickoff return touchdowns, which all proved to be too much for the Redmen.
“It’s the first time that we have beat them in the nine years that I’ve been here and I think it went a few years before that,” said Billerica head coach Duane Sigsbury. “Brian Aylward is one heck of a coach and he runs an awesome program. It’s great to get that monkey off our backs in terms of beating them because it’s been such a long time. That was a great high school football game. Both teams have some guys dinged up, but our kids stepped up and we made more plays in the end. This was just a great, great high school football game.”
The teams played to a scoreless first quarter before things went crazy for a few minutes of the second. Billerica struck first as Mike Murnane caught a 29-yard TD pass from Green and Jason Chaffee booted his first of five PAT kicks on the day.
On the ensuing kickoff, Tewksbury’s Sean Hirtle returned it 77 yards for the score to make it 7-7.
“Funny part about that is when they scored to tie the game up at 7-7, I said we’re going to run it back right here and we did and that was pretty cool. Sebastian made a great play. He scooped it up and he was gone. That defines a great team — you respond after the other team had responded,” said Sigsbury.
St. Pierre did just that returning it 78 yards for the score and the Indians went up 14-7. The score stayed that way through halftime, although the Redmen squandered a big chance to tie it up in the final minute but fell short on fourth-and-one from the Billerica 13.
St. Pierre then opened the third quarter up with a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown, making it 21-7. Later in the third, Murnane caught a tipped pass in the end zone from 11 yards out to extend the lead to 28-7.
“If there is a better quarterback in the state of Massachusetts than JT Green, then I want to see him,” said Sigsbury. “From where he came from at the end of last year to the work that he did in the weight room (and in the off-season), he’s just something else. I know he’s going to get a lot of money to go to school somewhere.”
The teams exchanged touchdowns with Hirtle scoring on a 59-yard pass from Vinnie Ciancio (11-for-15, 199 yards), before Green iced it with a 1-yard run with 4:39. The Redmen added one late as Blake Ryder caught a 5-yard pass from Ciancio.
“Overall, (Billerica) executed better than we did. They are an experienced team and they are good in all phases of the game,” said Aylward. “They were ready and I think we were ready. They played better than we did and that’s what happens. The thing about football is the team that usually does things the right way in a game more than the other team is going to win. We preached about holding onto the ball and not shooting ourselves in the foot but we’re still young and inexperienced in some places and you have to go through that learning curve.”