The Telegraph – ConVal edges Hollis Brookline

ConVal edges Hollis Brookline
By HECTOR LONGO, Correspondent

HOLLIS – Saturday’s tough, 36-32 home loss to rival ConVal notwithstanding, Hollis Brookline’s football team will add a bit to its football checklist over the final three weeks of the regular season.

Helmet, check. Cleats, check.

Calculator … check.

Now 4-2 with three to play, the Cavaliers will need victories and a little bit of luck to reach their playoff goal.

“Anything is possible. When you have two losses, you’re going to need some help,” said HB coach Chris Lones after his team waged a colossal battle with the Cougars, only to come up four points and probably another 30 seconds short. “We’ll see how things roll out. We’ve got to finish and win our last three games, then we’ll just see how the cards fall.”

Twice Hollis Brookline held second-half leads, only to see them slip away. The Cavs took a 26-21 lead when Derek Davidson hauled in a 9-yard TD pass and the ensuing two-point conversion throw from Joey Delaney. ConVal, which lost starting QB Dan Spezzaferri late in the second quarter, would answer that with a 5-yard QB keeper from his replacement, Keenan Wilson with 7:16 left in the game.

Hollis Brookline responded quickly again, as Delaney played a cool customer under pressure. First he hit Michael Gillespie for 55 yards to the CV 3. Then, on fourth-and-goal from the 5, Delaney went to the money man, Matt Simco, on the skinny post to again forge ahead at 32-29. The visitors struck the decisive play, though. Wilson hit his go-to receiver Isaac Bacon for 57 yards and the winning score with three minutes left.

Hollis Brookline had one last chance, driving into Cougar territory in the final minute, but time expired with the Cavaliers on the CV 41.

“They made one more play than us, they outcoached us,” said Lones, noting his team’s errors were the difference. “You make a mistake, you start to try to do more than you’re asked to do, and bad things happen. Maybe it’s fatigue, you get tired, you try and cheat on a play, and you get beat. We had a couple of stops, had a couple chances to take an edge, and we just didn’t take advantage of them.”

Simco and Brian Delaney each had second-half interceptions to sting ConVal, and Hollis Brookline added a blocked punt, but the Cavs just couldn’t make those Cougar mistakes hurt.

“We’ve got a resilient bunch of kids and they’ll bounce back,” said Lones. “A lot of these kids played on the 2-6 team last year. A lot of these kids playing this year started last year. It’s tough because of the hype, and you get so close.”

Jack Byrne caught a Joey Delaney TD pass in the first quarter and ran 40 yards for the Cavs’ second TD. Brian Delaney chipped in a 2-yard TD run for HB, which trailed at the half, 21-18.

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