Roxbury and Mt. Olive at half
Roxbury at Mt. Olive (Photo by Bobby Santoro - JSN)

#20 Roxbury hangs on to beat #14 Mt. Olive in thriller

Friday night lights! Three words that will fire up any fan of high school football. On a cold and rainy Friday night, unbeaten Mt. Olive and Roxbury clashed in an epic showdown. Both teams entered the game ranked in the state. Roxbury comes in as the 20th-ranked team and Mt. Olive is the 14th-ranked team in the state. 

Fans packed Marauder Stadium (or The Ship as they call it) with a sea of red on the Mt. Olive side and Blue and White striped across the Roxbury side. The opening kick sailed through the rain and night sky and we were underway.

Roxbury Winning Game Recap

The wet conditions made it hard for both teams to move the ball and for most of the first quarter, neither team could do much. Roxbury got a jolt of momentum when sophomore Nick Edelman intercepted a tipped pass, setting up the Gaels in great field position inside the Mt. Olive 20-yard line. Senior runningback Matt Rattay powered an 11-yard run into the endzone to put Roxbury up 7-0 with a little less than 4 minutes to go in the 1st quarter. 

Both teams struggled to move the ball once again in the 2nd quarter as the conditions began to get worse. Miscues on both offense and big stops on defense had the score remaining 7-0 Roxbury heading into halftime.

After another sluggish start to the second half for both teams, Mt. Olive started putting a drive together. Tyler Cumming broke out two big runs to put the Marauders on the doorstep of the endzone. Two plays later Jake Asbury plunged into the endzone, tying the score up a 7 heading into the 4th quarter. 

The Gaels got the ball back and pieced together a solid drive moving down the field. With 9 minutes remaining, Roxbury called on kicker Gunner Hilsinger to attempt a 30-yard field goal in the rain and the wind. The Senior kicker was calm and collected as he sent the ball through the uprights and put Roxbury ahead 10-7. 

On the ensuing drive, the Marauders started to move the ball but Anthony Skawinski picked off a Jake Asbury pass to put Roxbury in the driver's seat with 7 minutes to go in the game. A personal foul on the Gaels backed them up and forced them to punt the ball back to Mt. Olive.

The Marauders took over at their own 22 with 5 minutes left in the game. Rain poring down, game on the line what more could you ask for? “The Ship” was rocking, no one was seated for this final drive. A personal foul for unnecessary roughness on Roxbury kept the drive alive for Mt. Olive who would have been faced with a 4th and long. Instead, the penalty gave them a first down and a new life. 

Adam Decristofaro and the Marauder offense continued their pursuit of the endzone with some old-school ground-and-pound offense. After an illegal procedure pushed them back, Asbury was able to complete a huge pass on 3rd and 8 to keep the chains moving. Another illegal procedure pushed them back again on 1st down and set up a 1st and 15 with 1:15 left in the game. 

On 2nd and 10 from the Roxbury 22-yard line, Asbury threw a ball into double coverage and it was almost picked off by Colin Richter but the senior could not corral it, giving Mt. Olive life.

With 42 seconds left in the game, the Marauders decided to go for it instead of kicking a 33-yard field goal to tie the game. Jake Asbury took the snap and charged forward and looked to have the first, however, the ball came loose and Roxbury Junior Connor May pounced on it to seal the game for the Gaels. May with the ball held high over his head sprinted to the Roxbury sideline with players fans and coaches all jumping with excitement. Final score 10-7 Roxbury. Scoring summary here

With the win the Gaels advance to 6-0 and have clinched the Super Football Conference Liberty White Division title. 

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