Big Win for Chieftains Despite Rain

Published in the October 24, 2007 issue of Stow Independent

By Jordana Bieze Foster


Like the rain on Friday night, the Chieftains' yardage came in torrents, and the double-edged deluge did in the visitors from Wachusett Regional by a final score of 27-6.

In a soggy game filled with squib kicks, slippery snaps and mud-soaked uniforms, Nashoba's backs somehow stayed on their feet when it mattered. A touchdown run by Alex Warila of Stow early in the second quarter set the stage for senior quarterback Tom Quinn's career day, which featured three dramatic touchdowns—one on a 45-yard punt return, the other two on runs of 58 and 70 yards.

Meanwhile, the weather and the Chieftain defense combined to shut down the Mountaineers' dangerous passing attack, and the visitors didn't fare much better on the ground. After a 33-yard first half, Wachusett managed a more respectable 191 yards for the game; however, 58 of those yards came on a touchdown run by Justin Dowd with just over a minute remaining in the game, while most of the Nashoba starters were watching from the sidelines.

“The weather was definitely a positive on our side, but also we were the better team that night,” Warila said. “We just outplayed them.”

The non-league win brought Nashoba's overall record to 4-3 on the season, while Wachusett fell to 2-5. With two victories in as many games, head coach Ken Tucker is hoping the Chieftains can keep the winning streak alive as they head into a critical portion of the schedule. The final four games of the season will be against league opponents, starting with Saturday's matchup against Holy Name in Worcester.

“This was an important win to gain some momentum,” Tucker said.

In fact, this win was all about momentum. After a scoreless first quarter, the Chieftains got on the board following Warila's four-yard touchdown run on fourth and goal, which capped an 82-yard drive and put the Mountaineers in the unenviable position of having to play from behind under less than ideal conditions. Two consecutive Wachusett possessions went three-and-out, with Stow's Paul Murray leading Nashoba's defensive efforts against the Mountaineer air attack that would not complete a pass all night.

With less than two minutes remaining in the half, it seemed likely that the Chieftains would be going to the locker room with a 7-0 lead, particularly when Wachusett's third punt of the game bounced past Quinn amid one of the heaviest downpours of the evening. But Quinn tracked the ball down and, breaking at least one tackle, ran in up the left side of the field and into the end zone; Jim Garvey's second extra point of the night doubled Nashoba's lead as the half ended.

However, knowing that Wachusett had come back from a two-touchdown deficit to beat St. Peter-Marian on Sept. 29, the Chieftains knew their halftime lead might not be enough.

“Everyone was excited – but no one was getting too cocky,” Warila said.

Sure enough, the Mountaineers got into the red zone late in the third quarter, but were stopped short of a first down on the six yard line by a Chieftain trio of Peter Hagermoser, Nick Trueblood and Joe O'Loughlin. On its next possession, Wachusett got as close as the Nashoba 30 yard line, but turned the ball over on downs following an incomplete pass on fourth and long that was well defended by Paul Murray.

Facing fourth and inches from their own 42 yard line, the Chieftains ran a wedge play that was designed to pick up just enough yards for the first down, but Quinn broke free and ran the length of the field for his second touchdown of the game.

Quinn credited fullback Dustin Greene of Stow with some convincing theatrics on the wedge play.

“Dustin had a good fake on that play,” he said. “He got tackled, and I didn't.”

Quinn would score once more on an option play with less than five minutes remaining in the game, a 70 yard run that officially put the game out of Wachusett's reach. Dowd's 58-yard score for the Mountaineers prevented the shutout.

The Chieftains will try to extend their winning streak to three games Saturday against Holy Name in Worcester, in a rare day game that is scheduled for 1 p.m.


Copyright 2008 Jordana Foster – 24 Kirkland Dr, Stow, MA – Email: – Fax: (815) 346-5239