There was a lot to like about the Gloucester football team’s performance in its 15-14 win over Lynn Classical Friday night in its first home game at New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium.
For starters, Gloucester was able to weather an explosive Classical offense led by an experienced, bruising backfield and a duel threat quarterback. The Fishermen were also able to establish a strong running game of their own as seniors John Curcuru (106 yards) and Jordan Pallazola (88 yards) each had a touchdown and combined to pick up 194 of the team’s 206 yards of total offense, while at the same time keeping the Rams offense off the field by controlling the clock.
But the most impressive aspect of the Fishermen’s win on Friday was their play in the clutch.
The 15-14 win shows Gloucester’s growth as a team as Friday night’s game is a contest that it may not have pulled out in 2011 and 2012. The Fishermen have had experience in nail biters, and up until Friday, they were always on the wrong end of those close games. But on Friday, the team made every play when it needed to make a play most.
We will start in the third quarter. The Fishermen just had a drive stall at the Rams seven yard line when head coach Tony Zerilli called on kicker Eli Horne. The senior played for the Gloucester soccer team in each of the last three seasons and was suddenly called upon to put his team ahead of one of its toughest competitors. He would nail the 24 yard attempt, which turned out to be the difference in the contest.
Gloucester wasn’t done coming up big from there as it turned in several big plays in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.
Classical appeared to be going in for a go-ahead score with just over three minutes to play in the game when Brad Scuzzarella, who broke Gloucester’s heart in 2012 with a two point conversion in overtime to seal a 22-20 Rams win, found daylight and raced towards the end zone. Gloucester’s Conor Harris, however, was able to chase him down.