With a freezing rain coming down on the field turf in Pembroke, Sandwich senior Tim Ladner took a handoff from quarterback Tim Bengtson in the second overtime, rushed off-tackled to the left before bouncing outside and making a move for the pylon.
A Titans’ defender met Ladner halfway to the goal line and the two crashed helmets before a gang of Titan defenders swarmed in to bring down the Blue Knights’ tailback.
Ladner fell two yards short of converting the two-point attempt and forcing a third overtime. Instead, Pembroke rushed off the field and celebrated its first win of the year, 22-20, on Pembroke’s Senior Night game last Thursday, November 7.
A play earlier, Bengtson had scored on a one-yard dive to pull within two points—set up by a nine-yard run by Ladner that was almost identical to the play Pembroke stopped on the two-point try. They had to match the Titans’ score, which had come on a one-yard run by sophomore quarterback Drew Hall, followed by an over-the-middle completion to Pat Leary.
The Titan’s two-point conversion proved to be the game-winning score, although Pembroke thought they had won it in the first overtime on fourth down. After Sandwich forced a fourth-and-five, Hall was chased out of the pocket as he was searching downfield for an open receiver. He hit Jimmy Hanrahan in the front right corner of the end zone, as the receiver dove toward the pylon as two Blue Knight defenders were draped over him. The officials initially ruled the play as a touchdown, but much to the chagrin of the home crowd, it was later overturned after a lengthy conference between the referees.
Pembroke nearly had a chance to win the game in regulation, beginning a fourth-quarter drive at Sandwich’s 44-yard line with 1:44 left in a 14-14 tie game. They drove down to the 15-yard line, thanks to a Blue Knights’ personal foul penalty, before facing a fourth-and-25 from the Sandwich 30. Hall rolled out to his right once again and heaved a ball toward the end zone. Sandwich defensive back Nick Boegel read the throw the entire way, jumped the route in the end zone for an interception and returned the ball near midfield. But with 13 seconds left, the Blue Knights’ offense didn’t have enough time to drive to the end zone.
In overtime, each team has four downs to score from 10 yards in the non-sudden death format.
Sandwich tied the game with 8:57 left in the game as Bengtson scored on a five-yard rush to cap an eight-play, 63-yard drive. On the previous play, a third-and-three situation, Bengtson broke free of a sack to find junior Nick Brown for a 26-yard gain. That was one of the few balls Knights’ receivers could get their hands on in the cold, wet playing conditions. Bengtson rushed for three scores on 66 yards and completed four of 12 attempts for 61 yards.
Pembroke took a 14-7 lead into the break at halftime after Hall found receiver Jack Eggers for a 34-yard touchdown pass on third-and-six. He connected with Will Harmon on a two-point conversion for the one touchdown advantage. That finished off a nine-play, 70-yard drive that saw the Titans convert two third downs. On their previous offensive drive, Pembroke took advantage of a Sandwich fumble to go on a 10-play, 63-yard drive that resulted in a Gabe Semonian one-yard run. Despite the score, Sandwich still led, 7-6, with 5:47 left in the first half after Pembroke failed on the two-point try.
The Knights broke the ice late in the first quarter when Bengtson was forced to scramble after fielding an errant snap and he broke free for a 12-yard scamper score. Lukas Anderson hit the first of two point-after attempts on the night.
Boegel had a pass break-up to go with his interception while Ladner had a pair of sacks and Tanner Davison had two tackles for loss on defense.
ENTERPRISE SPORTS PLAYER OF THE GAME: Drew Hall, QB, Pembroke—The tall sophomore accounted for 303 totals yards and had a hand in 16 of the team’s 22 points. He converted five of nine passes on third down, including a touchdown, and made it look easy despite difficult playing conditions.
KEY PLAY: The Titans’ defensive stand to deny Ladner the game-tying two-point rush in the second overtime. There a few times in a football game where a game is decided by a one-on-one play and this was one of them.
NUMBER TO KNOW: 16—The combined point differential in three Sandwich losses this year. The Knights fall to 3-6 on the year and three of the losses have come in crunch time by a touchdown or less.
UP NEXT: Sandwich (3-6) remains on the road for the final week of the non-playoff pool as the Knights meet Middleboro on Friday, November 15. The Sachems (2-6) are coming off a bye, but previously played Dover-Sherborn to a 42-41 road loss on November 2. Pembroke (1-8) will travel to Dedham (4-5) on Friday, November 15, at 6 PM.
THE PICK: Sandwich 24, Middleboro 21—The Blue Knights have a knack for finding themselves in tightly-contested ball games and Friday will not be any different—except for being on the right end of a close decision.
Sandwich — 7;0;0;7;0;6 — 20
Pembroke — 0;14;0;0;0;8 — 22
2:20 — Tim Bengtson (S) 12-yard run (Lukas Anderson kick)
5:57 — Gabe Semonian (P) 1-yard run (pass failed)
0:45 — Jack Eggers (P) 34-yard catch from Drew Hall (Harmon from Hall)
8:57 — Bengtson (S) 5-yard run (Anderson kick)
Hall (P) 1-yard run (Pat Leary from Hall)
Bengtson (S) 1-yard run (run failed)
Rushing—Tim Bengtson (S) 9 attempts, 66 yards, 3 TDs; Pat Morin (S) 14 attempts, 77 yards; Nick Brown (S) 4 attempts, 13 yards; Tim Ladner (S) 1 attempt, 9 yards; Dan Halloran (S) 1 attempt, 4 yards; Will Harmon (P) 14 attempts, 68 yards; Drew Hall (P) 10 attempts, 46 yards, 1 TD; Gabe Semonian (P) 2 attempts, 6 yards, 1 TD; Jack Eggers (P) 1 attempt, 1 yard.
Passing—Tim Bengtson (S) 4-for-12, 61 yards; Drew Hall (P) 14-for-28, 247 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Receiving—Nick Brown (S) 2 receptions, 29 yards; Patrick Whearty (S) 1 reception, 11 yards; Brady Campbelll (S) 1 reception, 26 yards; Will Harmon (P) 4 receptions, 40 yards; Jack Eggers (P) 3 receptions, 57 yards, 1 TD; Aidan Keefe (P) 3 reception, 70 yards; Grant Hall (P) 2 receptions, 53 yards; Anthony Birolini (P) 1 reception, 7 yards; Pat Leary (P) 1 reception, 20 yards