Bears stun Colonels with late TD, go-ahead two-point conversion
Stonington — A.J. Massengale was just finished shaking hands Friday night when he couldn’t contain the 50,000-watt smile a second longer.
“That,” he said, walking across the field back to a jubilant sideline, “was awesome.”
Almost as awesome as what followed: His Stonington High School players singing along with the band – hollering, actually – “Here’s To Old Stonington,” punctuating their biggest football victory in years.
The Bears scored with 24 seconds left and then used a gadget play for a successful two-point conversion, rallying for a 14-13 win over previously unbeaten Ledyard before 1,500 home fans.
“It’s great to be able to sing that song again,” senior Dorian White said, not long after being the biggest reason his teammates could partake of their choral skills.
With the Bears down 13-6 in the closing minutes, White caught a 31-yard pass, threw a 17-yard completion to Luke Lowry after starting quarterback Lucian Tedeschi was hurt briefly and then scored on a 5-yard touchdown run.
“The o-line did a great job making it possible,” White said.
Stonington (4-2) opted to win the game with a two-point conversion play they call “78 Special,” an option pass from Tedeschi to yawningly open receiver Patrick Obrey. Celebration on.
“These kids have been through a lot,” Massengale said. “I’m very proud of them that they stuck with it.”
His kids went through a lot in this game, too. Tied 6-6 at halftime, they marched 69 yards to the Ledyard one, only to get denied on fourth and goal.
“That was tough,” Massengale said. “I think we kind of went into survival mode.”
One possession later, Ledyard (5-1) took a 13-6 lead on James Green’s 7-yard touchdown run. Stonington’s final, fateful possession began with 4:06 remaining and featured a fourth-down conversion at the Ledyard 25 with two minutes left.
Ledyard took a 6-0 lead early on Justin Outlow’s 30-yard touchdown run but gave it back late in the half. Outlow was flushed right and threw an interception to freshman Patrick McGugan who went 37 yards for the tying touchdown.
Ryan Outlow, Ledyard’s leading rusher, ran for 72 yards, despite being hampered by turf toe sustained last week against New London.
“I can’t say enough about these kids,” Massengale said. “We faced some adversity in this game and they really, really hung in there. A very special night.”
Stonington plays at Waterford next week.
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