GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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December 7, 2008

Manchester Essex captures Division 4 Super Bowl

Click to see a photo slideshow of the game 

Hornets Big Three come through again

Orlando completes his legacy with Hornets

FOXBOROUGH — In the Division 4 Super Bowl against Tri-County on Saturday morning, the Manchester Essex football team did what the New England Patriots couldn't do in Super Bowl XXXXII against the New York Giants last February.

The Hornets capped off an unbeaten season with a dominating 36-6 win over the Cougars (9-3) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

It was Manchester Essex's first Super Bowl appearance since 2003 and the school's first title since 1999.

Hornets senior quarterback Pat Orlando (9-for-13, 172 yards, 3 touchdowns) not only broke his brother Vinny's school record for career touchdowns (it was 53, now it's 54) in the historic win but he also rushed for 52 yards in one last outstanding high school performance.

"We executed from the beginning," said Hornets head coach Mike Athanas. "We were ready to go. It was special for Pat to get the record, especially with his brother coaching him. We thought it would happen and he deserved it."

Manchester Essex's top-ranked offense (37.4 points per game) in Eastern Mass. made its presence felt early and often as the Hornets scored touchdowns on five of their first six drives.

"They're a very, very good team," Cougars head coach Dan Maclean said about the Hornets. "We knew what we wanted to do but we made some mistakes early and just couldn't get back into it. I can't take anything away from Manchester Essex.

We knew they could pass, Orlando is a great quarterback, he's showed that all year. We were just hoping to contain him a little bit but we couldn't. Offensively, we stalled a lot. Too many mistakes, against a team like that you can't make mistakes. Win or lose, I'm so proud of these kids."

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