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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The St. Sebastian’s varsity football team moved to 4-0 on the season on Saturday with a 35-14 victory at Governor’s Academy.
Dover native Louis Hansen made the play of the game with a one-handed Odell Beckham-esque grab along the near sideline, while Wellesley native and Duke baseball commit Billy Seidl was the star of the show, accounting for four total touchdowns (two rushing, two throwing). Westwood natives Will Frisoli and Joe Fiore each caught a touchdown in the winning effort. Medfield native and linebacker Luke McKenzie helped anchor a defensive front that pitched a second half shutout.
A 56-yard touchdown run by Seidl that featured multiple broken tackles on Seb’s second play from scrimmage gave the Arrows an early 6-0 lead (PAT blocked). Governor’s responded with a seven-play, 73-yard drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Quin Stott to take a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Seidl put together a long drive late in the second quarter, hooking up periodically with Hansen, including a 24-yard one-handed snag down the near sideline, before Northwestern commit Bryce Gallagher punched it in from three yards out to reclaim the lead for the Arrows at 13-7 with 3:24 left in the half. Following a pair of long passing connections from quarterback Shane O’Leary to wide out Peyton O’Leary, Stott responded again with a one-yard touchdown run to give Gov’s a 14-13 lead at the half.
Seidl came out slinging in the second half, leading the Arrows down the field and punching in a one-yard quarterback keeper with 1:57 to play in the third quarter to reclaim the lead for St. Sebastian’s. Seidl then found Princeton-committed receiver Alex Cherry in the back corner of the end zone for a successful two-point conversion, and the Arrows seized a 21-14 lead.
Following a key fourth down stand by the Seb’s defense, Seidl hooked up with Frisoli for a 39-yard touchdown with 5:59 to play to make it a two-possession game at 28-14. Joe Lawler picked off O’Leary on Gov’s ensuing possession to get the ball back for the Arrows, and Seidl hammered the nail into the coffin with an 86-yard touchdown connection to Fiore on a trick play with 2:58 to play, and the Arrows prevailed 35-14.
“That was a big game for us,” said Hansen following the victory. “We came in here knowing that they were one more team that only had one loss in this league and we knew if we got this win then we’d be in a good position. We started off a little slow but put together a great effort in the second half.”
“It’s always tough coming up here,” said Seb’s head coach Robert Souza. “I’m proud of these kids and the way they played today. Definitely a big win for us. We knew coming in it was going to be tough, and I give all the guys credit for hanging in and responding in that second half, especially when you find yourselves in a position like we did, trailing for the first time this year at halftime.”
As for Billy Seidl, both Hansen and Souza agree that Saturday’s performance was just par for the course for the star quarterback and future Duke Blue Devil.
“Billy’s a great player, week in and week out,” said Hansen. “He’s always throwing, running, doing everything he can to help us win and get those extra yards. There’s no quarterback I’d rather have, that’s for sure.
“It means a lot having a guy like him,” said Souza. “He’s been a great leader and we’re lucky to have him back and healthy after only getting him for three games last season before he got injured.”
St. Sebastian’s will look to move to 5-0 when the Arrows travel to Lawrence Academy on October 20.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.