Haverhill Hillies Football '11

Fri, Nov 04, 2011 07:00 PM @ Haverhill
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Tewksbury 8 0 6 6 20
Haverhill 0 12 0 15 27

Morgan magic lifts Haverhill past Tewksbury

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Friday, November, 04 By Christopher Smith


HAVERHILL — Before Hillies coach Tim O’Connor awarded one of the game balls to quarterback Tommy Morgan last night, he made a quick speech, saying, “I ride him like a dog, and I always say he’s going to win me a game eventually.”

Morgan did indeed win the game for Haverhill yesterday. 

He drove his team 54 yards on five plays in 1 minute, 33 seconds after getting the football with 1:49 left in the contest with Haverhill and Tewksbury tied 20-20.

On the game-winning drive, Morgan completed all four of the passes he hurled, including an 18-yard touchdown strike to Blaine Joia with 16.4 seconds left.   

Morgan was 16 for 29 passing for 236 yards and two touchdowns. Haverhill posted a 27-20 victory over Tewksbury at home.

Morgan was scrambling toward the Tewksbury sideline — and one of Haverhill's coaches yelled to him to throw it away — when he then made an off-balance throw to Joia for the game-winning touchdown. 

“They (Tewksbury) had the middle of the field covered pretty well, and I rolled out and I was going to throw it away, but I saw Blaine put his hand up and there he was — wide open in the end zone,” Morgan said. 

Joia added: “I saw Tommy scrambling out and I knew no one was behind me so I just back-pedaled a little bit into the end zone. And Tommy saw me because he is a great quarterback, and he just hit me.  

Morgan’s late drive made-up for a huge mental mistake he made with time winding down in the second quarter.  

Morgan had led Haverhill’s offense to the Tewksbury 2-yard line with less than 25 seconds remaining before the half. 

After a Chance Brady run that gained no yards, Morgan looked to pass but couldn’t find any open receivers. So he decided to run the football. He hustled to the sideline but was tackled before he could get out of bounds with about 7 seconds remaining. With Haverhill out of timeouts, Morgan and the offense couldn’t get back to the line of scrimmage in time to spike the football. Time, therefore, ran out without Haverhill even attempting a field goal.  

Morgan realized after he should have thrown the ball out of bounds. 

“Tommy made a mistake, but he knows that one mistake can’t ruin the game,” Joia said. “As you can see, Tommy stepped up and played a phenomenal game.”

Joia, who caught six passes for 109 yards, said he and Morgan live within 5 minutes walking distance from each other in Haverhill. 

So both the quarterback and wide receiver play catch together for at least two hours every Sunday at any random field they can find. 

Nick DeFusco also sometimes goes with them. 

“Me and him (Morgan) have a really good connection,” Joia said. “He knows where I’m going to be. I tell him that if he has any trouble, just throw it up and I’ll get the ball for him.” 

Joia has had a very strong year after missing last fall football season because he was academically ineligible. 

“I went to summer school to get my grades straight, and I’ve studying my (butt) off just so I can play for this team and give 100 percent for this team,” said Joia who hopes to attend Bridgton Academy in Maine next year.



Game Statistics:

First Quarter

T — Chris Bettano 10 run (Eddie Matovu run), 5:38

Second Quarter


H — Chance Brady 1 run (pass intercepted), 9:57 

H — Connor Tufts 15 pass from Tommy Morgan (pass stopped short), 5:59 


Third Quarter

T — Bettano 22 run (kick no good), 2:07

Fourth Quarter

H — Brady 26 run (Blaine Joia pass from Morgan), 8:19

T — Bettano 2 run (Bettano run no good), 1:50

H — Joia 18 pass from Morgan (Dylan Copeland kick), 16.4 


RUSHING: H (21-83) — Brady 17-60, Joia 4-23; T (44-234) — Chris Bettano 35-186, Daniel Altavesta 6-36, Kevin Saunders 2-6, Eddie Matovu 1-6   

PASSING: H  — Morgan 16-29-0, 236 yards; T — Frankie McLaughlin 0-1-0 0 yards; Johhny Aylward 1-2-0 11 yards

RECEIVING: H — Joia 6-109, Taylor Sullivan 4-66; Nick DeFusco 2-23, Connor Tufts 1-15; Jeremy Martinez 2-23; T — McLaughlin 1-11

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