High schools

STATE VOCATIONAL BOWL | South Shore 8, OLD COLONY 0

Sean McGuirk goes out in style in leading South Shore to title shutout over Old Colony

HARWICH — If Thursday night was the final game of Sean McGuirk’s football career, his finale was the stuff that dreams are made of.

The South Shore Voc-Tech senior scored the lone touchdown in the State Small School Vocational Bowl and recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter to preserve an 8-0 victory over Old Colony at Monomoy Regional High School.

“That was crazy,” said McGuirk, a co-captain on South Shore’s first vocational champion team since 2007. He is undecided if he will play at the college level.

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“I couldn’t have done it myself, though, the line blocked tremendously,” he said. “And on the fumble recovery, I got it, but I didn’t punch it out. That was a team effort.”

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McGuirk scored on a 1-yard dive on the opening possession of the second half for the Vikings (9-4), who went up 8-0 after teammate Joseph Parker added the two-point conversion with 5:45 left in the third quarter.

The score remained the same when Sean Lovell punched the ball loose from an Old Colony ball carrier at the Vikings 21-yard line with 1:20 left in regulation, bringing an abrupt end to a promising drive which began at the Cougars 14 with 7:50 to go.

Old Colony (9-4) got the ball back with 19 seconds remaining at the South Shore 35, but three heaves into the end zone fell incomplete.

“I’ve loved my defense all year, and to shut this team out, it’s unbelievable,” said first-year South Shore coach Matt Doyle.

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An alum of the school, Doyle won a vocational bowl with the Vikings in 2004.

“When I won, I remember it was special,” Doyle said. “I told these kids ‘It’s special, you’re going to remember this night.’ It’s been a grind.”

The victory for the Vikings completed a season sweep of the Cougars, having won their two previous meetings, 14-13, on Oct. 26 and, 14-8, on Nov. 9 in the Division 8 South semifinals.

Large School

Greater Lawrence 36, Assabet 26 — It took a while to figure out exactly who would be facing Assabet for the Large School Vocational state championship game in Andover, but once it was determined Greater Lawrence would host the game after Blackstone Valley Tech backed out, the Reggies were ready.

Greater Lawrence won its second straight vocational title over the Aztecs, finishing 8-4 and on a high note after falling to Abington in the Division 7 state semifinals.

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Greater Lawrence took an early 7-0 lead 2:04 into the game on a 34-yard touchdown catch from Chris Tineo on a great ball from quarterback Shamil Diaz.

Assabet (9-4) cut it to 7-6 going to the second on a 30-yard TD catch from Jacob Nelson, his first of four TD catches from quarterback Connor Shurling, the ensuing PAT was no good.

Assabet went up 12-7 with 9:17 left in the second quarter on a 13-yard slant to Nelson on a 4th-and-6, but a 19-yard TD catch late in the half from Franklyn Espinal and a two-point conversion gave the Reggies a 15-12 halftime lead.

Greater Lawrence pulled away in the third with a one-yard TD run from Maleek DeJesus and a one-yard QB keeper from Diaz, making it 28-12 after three.

A five-yard TD run from DeJesus with 6:50 left made it 36-12 following a two-point conversion. Nelson hauled in two more TD catches of 25 and 45 yards sandwiched around ab onside kick recovery, but it was too little too late for the Aztecs.

Jake Levin can be reached at jakelevin477@gmail.com.