By Patrick Flaherty, BPSsports Correspondent
JAMAICA PLAIN — West Roxbury came into their final game of the 2011 football season at 2-7, but they saved their best performance for last, as they came from behind to beat the Brighton Bengals 22-18 at White Stadium on Friday.
The Bengals came into the game as the heavy favorite, coming in at 5-4, and looked like the better squad early on. On Brighton’s first play from scrimmage, Johnathan Marrero connected with Chris Desenaro for a 58 yard touchdown score. The Bengals were unable to earn the 2 point conversion, which would be a costly habit throughout the game.
After West Roxbury marched down the field for a 55 yard touchdown drive, capped off by a Ralph Corgain 12 yard touchdown run, Brighton answered right back. The Bengals had a good drive of their own, which ended with a 11 yard Marrero touchdown pass over the middle to Luis Nunez to give them a 12-6 lead. Once again Brighton was unable to covert the 2 points.
Brighton then got the ball back with less than a minute to go in the 1st quarter and were able to put another score up on the board. After a West Roxbury personal foul penalty gave the Bengals the ball at the Raiders 27 yard line, Johnthan Marrero got to work on the ground. Marrero took a quarterback option 21 yards down the field to the 6. Westie was also called for a face mask penalty on that play, which gave Brighton the ball at the 3. Marrero was then able to take it in himself to put the Bengals up 18-6.
Both squads’ defenses turned up the pressure in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, holding their opposing offenses scoreless until the final frame.
In the 4th, the young Raiders got some senior leadership from their captain Muller Mirville. Muller picked off a Johnathan Marrero pass at the Brighton 35 yard and put West Roxbury in good position to score. A few plays later, Mirville took a pitch 17 yards for touchdown. Westie then cut the Brigton lead down to 4 on a 2 point conversion run by Ralph Corgain.
With under 4 minutes to go, West Roxbury forced Brighton to punt deep in their own territory, giving the Raiders the ball at the Bengals 35. Three plays later, Michael Obie ran it up the middle for a 29 yard touchdown run that gave West Roxbury the lead late in the 4th quarter. The Raiders were able to hang on and win 22-18.
West Roxbury Head Coach Leo Sybertz, who’s had a frustrating season with a young squad, was ecstatic after the win.
“The kids played as hard as they could, and they’re as happy as they can be. I’m happier than the kids. I’m as whacky as they are. Even whackier.” said Sybertz.
While it was a great way for the West Roxbury head coach to finish the season, it was a tough way for the Brighton head coach to finish a career. Brighton head coach James Philip told us before the game that it was his last on the Brighton sideline.
From all of us at Boston City TV, BNN, and BPSSports.com, it was an honor to cover your football program Coach Philip.
Pat Flaherty is the producer and play-by-play announcer for Mayor Menino’s Game of the Week, which airs on Sundays at noon and Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m, on Boston City TV (Ch. 24). The games also airs on BNN Channel 9 on Mondays at 9:30 p.m.