LOWELL — With Duxbury on the doorstep with just 1:42 to play in yesterday’s Division 3 state semifinal, Tewksbury cornerback Colby Wilson took matters into his own hands — literally.
The senior alertly jumped a swing pass and made an interception that sealed a wild, 29-21 win at Cawley Stadium, to send the Redmen to the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
“He’s in the history books,” said Tewksbury coach Brian Aylward of the senior, who happens to wear No. 21. “That’s like a Malcolm Butler play — same number!”
It was a redemption game for Tewksbury which lost in this game a year ago and lost to Duxbury in the 2011 Super Bowl.
The Redmen (10-1) had taken a 29-14 lead with 8:02 left when quarterback Jay Connolly (8-of-16, 135 yards, TD) hit Josh Sughrue on a pretty 25-yard cross-field pass. The undefeated South champs were not about to go quietly, however. Dynamic senior quarterback John Roberts (13-of-27, 160 yards, three TDs, 115 yards rushing) pulled the Green Dragons to within eight with a touchdown pass to Leo Allgaier and then ripped off a 44-yard run to set up Duxbury on the Tewksbury 11.
That’s when No. 21 stepped up for Tewksbury.
“You dream of having plays like that to send your team to Gillette,” said Wilson, who set up Tewksbury’s first score when he jumped a similar route for a pick that led to a Jack Kelly touchdown.
Faced with a decided size disadvantage on both sides of the ball, Tewksbury (193 yards rushing) ran right at the heart of the Duxbury defense and took a 15-0 lead late in the first half when Connolly, who has won 30 games as a varsity starter, snuck in late in the half.
Roberts kept Duxbury right in it, however, lofting a jump ball for 6-foot-1 Will Prouty, who soared over a pair of Redmen, to make it a 15-6 game at the half.
Kyle Zervas upped the advantage to 22-6 on the Redmen’s first possession of the second half, streaking 41 yards down the sideline to paydirt. An interception by Roberts at cornerback, however, swung the momentum once again as the QB promptly hit Jack Jacobson from 33 yards out on the next play and added the rush to make it a 22-14 game after three quarters.