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Wayland goes 4th Win

Posted by Andrea Murphy on Sep 17 2004 at 05:00PM PDT
Wayland goes 4th win by Sean Jacquet/News Sports Correspondent Metrowest News Saturday, September 18, 2004 HOLLISTON -- Down 24-13 entering the fourth quarter, Wayland players still showed confidence on the sideline. In unison, players flashed the four-finger salute, their way of signifying that the last 11 minutes of a game belong to them. They proved it last night. Senior running back Mike Allen rushed for a pair of 1-yard scores in the final quarter, and the Wayland defense staved off a last-minute Holliston drive as the Warriors celebrated a scintillating 27-24 non-league victory over the Panthers. Junior quarterback Alex Jenny, in only his second varsity start, ran the two-minute offense like a seasoned veteran, completing 15-of-29 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown. Senior receiver Phil Hastings was on the other end of Jenny's touchdown pass; he had an eight-catch, 121-yard night. In a game that was almost identical to last year's 21-14 Wayland victory, the Warriors moved to 2-0, heading into next week's Dual County League opener at Westford. "These guys never give up," said Wayland coach Scott Parshegian. "This is a true testament to what we do. We really turn it on in the fourth quarter. I'm very proud of these kids." The Panthers also had a number of stars both offensively and defensively, led by senior quarterback Tyler Parrino. Classmate Chris Valiant hauled in both of Parrino's scoring strikes, while making an interception on defense. Panther linebacker Chris Harris also picked off a Jenny pass, while recovering two fumbles, one of which he ran in for a 5-yard touchdown. Junior cornerback Brian Zunner had two sacks, the first of which caused the fumble that Harris ran in. The Panthers drop to 1-1 heading in to next week's Tri-Valley League opener against Medway. "The fans got their money's worth tonight," said Holliston coach Todd Kiley. "They're a great football team, and I'd be surprised if they didn't make some noise in their league." The Panthers drew first blood, striking on the first play from scrimmage. Zunner flew in from the right corner on a blitz, jarring the ball loose from Jenny. Harris then scooped it up and ran it in from 5 yards out for the score. Two possessions later, Jenny engineered a seven-play, 37-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 20-yard connection with Bobby Romanow, in which Jenny placed the ball between two defenders. On the next play, Jenny hooked up with Hastings for a 1-yard score. Valiant and the Panthers answered early in the second, when the aptly named receiver/cornerback stepped in front of a Jenny pass at the Panther 10 and returned it to the Panther 42. Valiant then finished off the drive 11 plays later on a 24-yard pass from Parrino. Mike Shilalie booted a 26-yard field goal early in the third, but the Warriors scored 14 seconds later, when Tony Torres returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown. Jenny said the return was the catalyst for the Warriors' comeback. "That kick return by Tony Torres was great," said Jenny. "That just brought us back to life." Valiant temporarily extinguished the Wayland comeback, catching a 16-yard touchdown pass to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive. From there, Allen and the Warrior defense took over. After Allen's first score of the fourth, the Panthers marched downfield to the 12, before Hastings picked off a Parrino pass in the end zone. Wayland turned away a second threat after a 48-yard kickoff return by Shilalie electrified the crowd. The Warriors stifled the drive at the 18, forcing Parrino into four straight incomplete passes to end the game. "I told these guys we've got to keep fighting, we've got keep playing as a team," said Allen. "But I have to credit our line. They block as hard as they can, and they get the job done."

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