The game had been circled on the calendar months ago as the Dracut C Football Team looked forward to this match-up with the Lawrence Hurricanes. The 2012 challenge saw Lawrence escape with a 33-25 win after the Middies turned in an error-plagued performance.
While most of last year's Dracut playoff winning squad has moved up a level, the veterans and newcomers had revenge planned, especially with the Division 2 Merrimack Valley League title on the line. Dracut came into the big game with the league's top offense -- averaging more than 27 points a game and the league's best defense -- giving up only 2.6 points per contest.
Though the Hurricane fans came out in droves to Veteran's Memorial Stadium, the home crowd was stunned as Dracut destroyed Lawrence with precision and poise to remain undefeated and capture the Merrimack Valley League Championship. The Middies' "Thunder and Lightning" duo of Lincoln Lessard and Aise Pream carried Dracut through a 20-point first-half explosion as the team never looked back in coasting to a 33-12 victory over Lawrence.
While Pream and Lessard played huge roles in the team's success, the best thing about Dracut was and is their balance. The Middies have depth at every position, giving them plenty of options. Their offense is fun and involves everyone on the team while their defense shows many different fronts -- from their innovative 6-2 to a conventional 5-3 which confuses their opponents.
Dracut opened up the game with a time-consuming eight-play drive that ended on an Aise Pream 28-yard touchdown jaunt into the end zone to put Dracut up 6-0. The drive featured nice runs by Devin Lambert, Matt Rossetti and Eric Ariosus who followed the tremendous blocking of Michael Canney, Nathan Ripley, Michael Tusa, Anthony Marquez and Kyle Proulx. Lawrence tied things up 6-6 on a 5 yard rush after an exciting 75 yard dash by their talented half back.
The Middies stalled on their next possession in the second quarter but held strong on defense as Gilbert Ruiz, Jacob Nadreau, Jacob Beaulieu and Ethan Holt stopped the Hurricanes on a great series of downs. The Middies' offense then ran a few running plays setting up a remarkable over the shoulder catch by Lincoln Lessard from Aise Pream which turned into a 35 yard touchdown reception. Devin Lambert added the extra point to put Dracut up 13-6.
Stellar defensive play by Yan Gonzalez, Denis Bourassa, Charlie Kefauver and Matthew Simpson forced Lawrence to turn the ball over on downs at midfield with under 2 minutes remaining in the half. Faced with their most important series of the season, Tyler Middlemiss, Alex Reis, Max Barton, Jared Fahey and Javier Faria turned momentum back to Dracut as they blew open a huge hole in the Hurricane defense allowing Lucas Ibarguen to slip his way 41 yards to pay dirt, putting the Middies ahead 19-6. Matt Rossetti scored the extra point to make the score 20-6 at the half.
Lawrence scored early in the third quarter after recovering an attempted onside kick to close things up 20-12. The Middies ate up some clock with a long drive before turning the ball back over to the Hurricanes. Dracut held Lawrence to a quick four and out as the quarter came to a close.
A seven-play, back-breaking scoring drive put the Middies up 26-12 after Devin Lambert bulldozed his way into the end zone from five yards out. Peter Sawyer's deep kickoff pinned the Hurricanes back and Dracut's defense forced Lawrence to turn the ball over after a quick four and out. Aise Pream's nimble footwork on a 50-yard touchdown sprint down the sidelines upped the lead to 32-12 before Ethan Holt rumbled in on an extra point to make the final score 33-12 for the undefeated Merrimack Valley League Champions from Dracut.