BURLINGTON — The North Shore Tech football team needed a little game time to adjust to the speed of Cathedral in the Division 4A semifinals last night.
Unfortunately, a little game time is all the Panthers needed to break away from the Bulldogs for good.
Cathedral scored three unanswered touchdowns in the first half en route to a 30-14 win over a North Shore Tech team that simply wasn’t built to play from so far behind. Sophomore quarterback Kejonte Hickman used his speed to get to the outside consistently in the first half when he rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns.
“We couldn’t catch up to their speed. You can’t duplicate that speed in practice. We knew what they were doing and our kids (eventually) caught up to the speed but that was really the game,” said North Shore Tech (8-4) coach Paul Worth. “Their offensive line is a senior veteran group and blocked really well but their speed, we couldn’t catch up to it in the beginning. You’d like to have it over to do again but you can’t.”
Andrew Gallione nearly intercepted Hickman on the Panthers (10-2) first drive but saw the ball slip through his hands. The next play, Hickman converted a third-and-long on a 29-yard run down to the Bulldog 4-yard line. Two plays later, Jermal Bervard-Jackson rushed his way in from a yard out to give the Panthers the lead just four minutes into the game. Jackson would add a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“That was our game plan,” explained Cathedral head coach Duane Sigsbury, who hoped to see his Panthers score first. “We wanted to take the ball and get out front first to make them (NST) have to play from behind because their offense wanted to do what we did — get up and eat the clock.”