Late Miscues Help Lions Defeat Westford in Opening Day Rivalry Game
The new opening week rivalry between Westford Academy and Chelmsford ended in a loss despite a superlative night from Justin Mount, one that would have likely been even better if not for an injury.
Although the scoreboard may have said differently, the true final score from Westford on Friday Night was Chelmsford 40, Justin Mount 26.
Westford Academy couldn’t cope after the school’s senior quarterback/wide receiver/kicker/cornerback/shooting guard during the basketball season developed muscle cramps midway through their contest with the Lions, even though he scored his fourth touchdown along with a dive for an extra two points following the injury.
Mount would end up scoring all 26 of Westford’s points in a 208 yard rushing night that could have seen him end up with 29 points if he had hit the extra points after his first three trips to the end zone.
According to Westford Academy head coach Rich McKenna, he was only able to get his last score thanks in part to the fact that he only needed to go a yard to get it.
“If Justin ran more than ten yards, he (would have) collapsed with cramps,” said McKenna.
That score put Westford up 26-25, but the Ghosts couldn’t hold it, thanks to a blocked punt near their end zone that Chelmsford’s Jeffrey Dauria would take back for six, followed by a late interception by Westford’s Lucas LeBleu where Dauria would eventually end up in the end zone again.
LeBleu tossed his second pick shortly after the two-minute warning, enough to seal the Ghosts fate on this night.
“No matter who’s playing, if you give a good team the ball inside the five twice, when you’re winning, you usually end up losing the game,” said McKenna.
Although Dauria didn’t display the video game open field speed that Mount showed at times before the injury, the Lions running back ended the game equaling Mount’s four touchdowns and grabbing 116 yards.
Still, Chelmsford head coach Bruce Rich had nothing but praise for the Westford standout following the game.
“There’s no doubt about it, he’s a Division I football player, he’s going to go far,” said Rich.
The new rivalry game, renewed last year for the first time since the 1940s, also was a family reunion for Rich and McKenna, who are related.
“(Rich) has been a mentor to me my whole life,” said McKenna. “I usually call (Rich) my cousin 51 weeks out of the year, the week we’re playing he’s my cousin’s husband.”