Whittier Wildcats Football '19

Fri, Nov 01, 2019 06:00 PM @ Greater Lowell
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Whittier 8 8 0 0 16
Greater Lowell 7 7 7 7 28

Whittier falls short in tourney opener

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LOWELL — Whittier led by two points at halftime, but could not hold on and fell to Greater Lowell 28-16 in the first round of the Division 6 North tournament on Friday.

"We got out and set the tone like we wanted to," said Wildcats head coach Kevin Bradley, whose team lost to the Gryphons 23-14 in the regular season. "We knew we could play a better game than we did against them last time, and we did. But we made too many mistakes and just couldn't hold on in the end."

Quarterback Niko Burke gave Whittier the lead in the first quarter, rushing for a 12-yard touchdown. 

Returning Eagle-Tribune All-Star running back AJ Espinal made it 16-14 at halftime, breaking a28-yard touchdown run then adding his second two-point conversion of the game. 

But the Wildcat offense could not add another score, and Greater Lowell found the end zone twice in the second half to earn the win.

Espinal ran for a team-high 112 yards on 18 carries, while Burke (10 carries, 76 yards) and Nolan Mann (8 carries, 52 yards) also contributed. 

Leading the Whittier defense were Mann, Zach Ribiero, Jeremias Collazo (fumble recovery) and pass rusher Anthony Luce.

"AJ was up over 100 yards like he always is," said Bradley. "A lot of guys played really well. I'm proud of the whole team. We fought until the end."

Whittier will wait until Sunday to find out its next opponent in the non-playoff bracket.

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

W — Niko Burke 12 run (AJ Espinal rush) 

Second Quarter

W — Espinal 28 run (Espinal rush)



RUSHING: Whittier — AJ Espinal 18-112, Niko Burke 10-76, Luke Iamelle 3-15, Nolan Mann 8-52, Zach Ribeiro 4-17

PASSING: Whittier — Burke 2-10-1, 16

RECEIVING: Whittier — Mann 2-16

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