The Salem News
---- — Trailing by 24 points at halftime Saturday, North Shore Tech football coach Paul Worth stayed calm.
As it turned out, it didn’t take a lot of yelling to get his Bulldogs going. All it took was a little heart, and North Shore grabbed one of the biggest comeback wins in its history with a 26-24 decision over Dorchester.
“I told them there was no magic word, and we weren’t going to yell and scream. I told them if you’re going to do this, it has to be in your heart,” said Worth, whose CAC Small champion Bulldogs improved to 7-3 and put themselves in prime position to earn a state vocational bowl bid.
Ross Murphy ran for 155 yards and scored all 26 points for the Bulldogs on four rushing touchdowns and a two-point conversion. North Shore scored immediately to start the second half and made it 24-12 in the third quarter.
“We had to score right away and we did that,” said Worth. “We were able to hit a 30-yard pass and that got Dorchester thinking about the throws and opening things up a little.”
Dorchester drove all the way to the 1-yard line after a North Shore interception, but the defense stood tall. North Shore recovered a fumble, then drove 99-yards for another Murphy score that made it 24-20.
The Bulldogs then forced a Dorchester punt and had to go 65 yards in 2:30 with no timeouts to win. They did, as Murphy plunged into the end zone with six seconds to go.
“It was one of the greatest games I’ve been associated with,” said Worth, whose team had 18 total yards in the first half and then 291 in the second half.
“We’ve never come back from 24 points. We showed a lot of character by a great bunch of kids. Knowing we needed this to secure a berth in a state vocational bowl, the kids stepped up.”
Dan Bailey was immense for North Shore with 17 tackles while Yordanny Sanchez had 10 stops on defense. Matt Almon also had 17 tackles for the Bulldogs and Michael Nuernberg had two stops for a loss.