LYNN — After lightning delays, rain, a third quarter full of penalty flags, and an overtime period, neither side wanted to leave Saturday’s game empty-handed.
And in the end, Lynn Classical’s football team (1-0) defeated Central High (Providence) (0-1) 28-26 in an early game-of-the-year candidate at Manning Field.
“To win a game in overtime week 1, we talk about it all summer,” Classical coach Brian Vaughan said. “When we do conditioning, when we’re in the weight room getting that extra rep, we talk about it all summer. Let’s simulate and play overtime. I know the board says eight reps, but do 10 if you can.”
Overtime didn’t last long. With teams trading possession just 10 yards from the promised land, Classical quarterback Brian Vaughan Jr. found John Nasky for 8 yards on an out-route, followed by Vaughan Jr. taking it himself for a touchdown the following play.
“Brian coming back from an injury with a lot to prove, he was focused and it showed,” Vaughan Sr. said.
Nasky hauled in a catch on a successful two-point attempt, followed by a passionate celebration in front of Classical fans.
“John is one of the better receivers in the state,” Vaughan Sr. said.
Central had its chance and scored a quick touchdown, but a pass play was broken up on its two-point try.
“When it came time for us to make plays in key moments, I thought we did,” Vaughan Sr. said. “Those guys work so hard and I think we were ready for overtime. We’re fortunate to be on the winning side.”
It was nearly a nightmare scenario, however. Central’s Joseph Forbes scored a touchdown with two seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, but the extra point attempt was blocked by Julius Patterson of Classical.
“We were telling our guys to just play our game and stay calm,” Vaughan Sr. said. “We’re fortunate.”
Classical’s three-headed monster of Vaughan Jr., Nasky, and running back Tyren Hoeun put on a show. Hoeun (100 yards) rushed for two touchdowns in five minutes during the first quarter.
“Tyren is Tyren,” Vaughan Sr. said. “He’s going to do what he does. I’m happy we have him and happy we don’t have to coach against him.”
Fast forward to the fourth with the score knotted 14-14. Vaughan Jr. hit Nasky across the middle on a slant. From there, Nasky bolted down the right sideline before diving into the endzone head-first for a 35-yard touchdown (20-14).
Other highlight plays included a Nasky interception and a fourth-down stop from the ever-so-intense Javon Clayborn – both in the third quarter.
“We stopped them on a fourth-and-2, and that was big,” Vaughan Sr. said. “I’ll tell you what, we knew that team was tough. That’s a really good football team and they’re going to do really well in Rhode Island.”
Despite the week 1 win, Vaughan Sr. said there’s lots to improve on.
“We shot ourselves in the foot in the redzone [and] blew some opportunities in the redzone early and late,” Vaughan Sr. said. “We’re happy that we came out with a win tonight.”
Classical travels to face Peabody (1-0) at 7 p.m Friday.