Plymouth South scored with 16 seconds left to beat Scituate, 15-9.
PLYMOUTH – Nick Siegelman sliced through the line of scrimmage for a five-yard scoring run with 16 seconds left Friday night to lift Plymouth South to an upset special of a 15-9 win over defending Division 5 state champion Scituate.
South (2-1) will try to keep the momentum rolling Friday night in their Homecoming game against Hanover. Scituate drops to 1-2 and will look to get back on track on the road at North Quincy.
Siegelman had his best day of the season with 22 carries for 161 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. Junior quarterback Hunter Dean completed 11-of-19 passes for 112 yards and also carried the football six times for 20 yards. Cillian Davis continued his fine start to the season with four catches for 60 yards.
Plymouth South took possession of the ball near their own 20 trailing 9-7 with 3:51 left in the game. That allowed junior quarterback Hunter Dean just enough time to engineer the game-winning drive.
They picked up a quick first down and got a break when Scituate was flagged for a personal foul to put the ball near midfield. A six-yard pass to Keven Paul set up a long toss to him near the end zone that just missed connecting.
With time running short Siegelman found a hole in the line for a huge 18 yard gain to set South up at the Scituate 18 with 51 seconds left. Siegelman ripped off an eight-yard gain, and then Dean took the ball for six more yards to get it to the five with less than 20 seconds left. That’s when South went to Siegelman again up the middle for the game-winning score.
A two-point conversion completion extended the lead to 15-9.
Siegelman also had a 61-yard TD run in the third quarter. Like any good running back, Siegelman gave all the credit to his offensive lineman.
“The boys opened some huge holes for me,” said Signalman. “The offensive line absolutely carried us tonight. I couldn’t have done any of this without all of them. We had two weeks to get ready for this game and we showed up tonight.”
Scituate Head Coach Herb Devine said the game was won at the line of scrimmage.
“They beat us up physically up front on both sides of the football. They dominated the line of scrimmage,” Devine said. “We made a lot of mistakes, but give Plymouth South credit because they earned the win. They made the plays when they had to tonight.”
South overcame three turnovers in the first half inside the Scituate 20. They came up with two takeaways of their own on a pair of interceptions by Paul.
“We played hard and beat a really, really good football team,” Plymouth South Head Coach Scott Fry said. “We made our share of mistakes in the first half and left some points out there, but we battled and had a good drive at the end of the game to win. This is a big program win for us.”
Plymouth South got a large dose of senior running back Will Sheskey early in the game. Sheskey got the ball six times on a 6 minutes opening drive that ended in points on the scoreboard when Nolan Startzell booted home a 40-yard field goal to start the scoring at 3-0.
Startzell was a little off the mark on the next Scituate drive, missing wide on a 30-yard field goal attempt on the opening play of the second quarter.
Scituate held that 3-0 lead for the rest of the first half despite giving up three different promising Plymouth South drives that ended with two fumbles and an interception.
Plymouth South quarterback Hunter Dean connected with Cillian Davis along the sideline for eight yards and then down the middle for 40 more yards to set up the Panthers inside the Scituate 5. A turnover on the next play gave Scituate the ball back at their own four.
The Panther defense kept the Sailors right there and a short punt gave South the football back at the Scituate 33. They drove inside the 20 before Scituate’s Thomas Doody scooped up a loose ball to stop things with 1:11 left in the half.
Plymouth South’s offense was off the field for exactly one play. A Matthew Scibilio pass tipped off Max Roche’s fingers and into the arms of Panthers defensive back Keven Paul for an interception.
A 10-yard pass to Jack Condon and a run by Siegelman gave South a third-and-two from the 12 with 30 seconds left on the clock. Dean threw over the middle where Scituate’s Roche was ready and waiting to make the interception.
Scoring picked up on both sides in the second half. The Panthers took their first lead of the game five minutes into the third quarter when Siegelman broke off a 61-yard TD run. The kick gave South a 7-3 lead.
“The linebackers were on a blitz up the middle and I was able to get around one player to some open space," Siegelman said. "Keven Paul sealed off a good block and then I just ran down the sideline as fast as I could.”
The big play gives, and the big play takes away. Just a couple seconds into the final quarter Scibilio and senior Captain Nate Gould connected on a 60-yard pass that set up a short run TD run for Sheskey. The kick missed leaving it 9-7 in favor of the Sailors.
Scituate and Plymouth South traded possessions before the Panthers finally broke through for the game-winning score. Scituate still had a last-second chance to come back before Paul hauled in Scibilio’s Hail Mary pass as time ran out.
Before the game the Plymouth South football program took a moment to honor Plymouth coaching legend Paul Coffin.
Coffin passed away in August. The Plymouth native coached and taught all three seasons and the summer in town for four decades. The last three years of his coaching career were spent as offensive coordinator for Plymouth South when the Panthers won back-to-back league championships and earned a trip to the MIAA Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium in 2013.