GLOUCESTER — Gloucester head football coach Tony Zerilli had a big smile on his face when he let out a big sigh of relief after watching his team come up in the clutch several times in a 15-14 win over Lynn Classical Friday night at New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium.
“What a way to break in the new stadium,” the Gloucester coach said.
He could not have been more right.
Following the grand opening ceremonies of the newly refurbished Newell Stadium, Gloucester and Lynn Classical put together another instant classic in the long line of instant classics between the two schools.
Just when fans thought they had seen everything between the two teams, the Fishermen came away with a win Friday night thanks to a pair of unique plays.
Tied at 12-12 in the second half and with neither defense giving an inch, the Fishermen saw a drive stall out inside the Rams 10 yard line. That’s when Zerilli called the field goal unit in. Gloucester hadn’t successfully kicked a field goal since the 2008 season, but senior kicker Eli Horne, a converted soccer player, booted a 24 yard field goal through the uprights to give Gloucester a 15-12 lead with 2:20 to play in the third quarter.
“It was a unique play for us, we don’t usually kick field goals,” Zerilli said. “But we have a good field goal kicker in Eli Horne and we were facing a fourth and goal from the seven. (Lynn Classical) was doing a good job stopping us in those situations so I sent the field goal team on and he nailed it.
It would end up being the winning three points, but the game was not over yet, not by a long shot.
After the teams traded unsuccessful possessions, the Rams got the ball with 7:54 to play at their own 32. A Brad Scuzzarella 36 yard game brought Classical down to the six yard line and looked to be going in for the go-ahead score. But the Gloucester defense came up with a clutch play when Alex Enes jumped on a fumble at the 14 yard line to give Gloucester the ball back with 2:32 to go.