SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 16, 2013

Peabody misses opportunities in loss to Lawrence

PEABODY — All week long in practice, Peabody football coach Mark Bettencourt talked to his team about the importance of the final home game for the seniors and how they wanted to leave Coley Lee Field with a victory.

The Tanners came so close last night but couldn’t pull it off, losing to Lawrence 28-26.

It came down to little things like a blocked field goal in the third quarter when the Tanners trailed by three points (22-19) and could have tied it up, as well as a pair of failed two-point conversions.

Early in the fourth quarter Peabody was facing a 4th-and-long situation and faked a punt. Billy Teehan picked up eight yards around right end, but came up shy of a first down. The Lancers (3-7) took over and scored to go up, 28-19, on an incredible fourth down pass by Nelson Valerio to Christian Valentin with three minutes remaining. Peabody had Valerio pinned in behind the line of scrimmage, but he made a few nifty moves to elude wouldbe tacklers and completed his fourth touchdown pass of the game.

“We had four shots at the quarterback on that play,” said Bettencourt. “I feel terrible that our seniors didn’t walk off this field for the final time with a win. They fought like champions tonight.

“This was a chess match. We knew they had some athletes, but we thought we could compete. We decided to take a shot on the fake punt because it’s a play we practice all the time, and if Billy (Teehan) hadn’t tripped we would have had it. At that point I didn’t think they would be expecting it. As far as that blocked punt goes, I’ll have to look at the films to see what happened.

“We lost because we didn’t make plays when we needed to, and we had plenty of opportunities.”

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