FITCHBURG, Mass. — The Leominster Blue Devils used a huge second half Saturday to beat St. John’s, 42-32, in a rematch of last years’ Central Massachusetts Division 1 Super Bowl teams.
A relatively low-scoring game exploded in the second half, with the Blue Devils being led by quarterback Garrett Dellechiaie.
Leominster shook off a shaky first half in which it turned the ball over four times, including a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown by St. John’s Andrew Sullivan, to post over 530 yards of offense.
Dellechiaie was unstoppable in the second half, leading the Blue Devils to score 30 points. He rushed 17 times for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and threw for two more scores on 13-of-18 passing for 187 yards.
The Pioneers seemed poised to blow things open in the first half, forcing turnover after turnover, but were unable to capitalize and held a slim 14-12 margin at the half.
Leominster took the second-half kickoff back to the St. John’s 45-yard line and needed only two plays to take the lead. James Gurley followed up a 21-yard run with a 24-yard touchdown jaunt to give the Blue Devils a 20-14 lead.
Drew Smiley, who completed 14 of 23 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown for St. John's, hit Devon Jones for a 17-yard score to tie it at 20, but the Blue Devils couldn’t be stopped. Dellechiaie responded with a 17-yard touchdown pass to fullback Matthew Banchs to make it 28-20.
Shadrach Abrokwah, who rushed 25 times for 175 yards and three touchdowns for the Pioneers, then took it in from 9 yards out to make it 28-26, but every time the Pioneers scored, the Blue Devils answered.
Dellechiaie ran a quarterback keeper for 49 yards and followed it up with the back-breaker, a 16-yard scramble for a touchdown, stretching the lead back to eight at 34-26.
St. John’s pulled to within two points one final time as Abrokwah burst around left end for a 27-yard score, but the Blue Devils put a finishing touch on a Super Bowl-winning day, chewing up the clock out the ground before Gurley ran it in from the 12 to put the Pioneers away for good. Mayson Williams added the two-point conversion for the 42-32 final score.