Westford Academy fans were able to celebrate brand new bleachers, but not much else in a 21-0 opening night home loss against the Red Raiders of Lowell.
The visitors got to a fast start, with quarterback Brian Dolan ending the Red Raiders first drive with a six yard keeper to put the Red Raiders on the board, and the last true drive of the game.
Outside of a 30 yard touchdown throw later in the quarter from Dolan to senior Jack Galvin and a 16 yard scramble by Grey Ghosts quarterback Luke Moran, the first half was an entirely defensive affair, with the two sides combining for six sacks, an anemic 130 yards and almost a dozen penalties.
Westford did have isolated opportunities throughout the contest, but they just couldn’t capitalize.
Those such as a catch in the end zone midway through the second quarter that junior Brett Fitzgerald just couldn’t hold onto, a completed pass to senior Will Puduski that reached the one inch line in the third quarter, and fumble recovery on the three yard line that turned into four straight goal line stops for the Red Raiders in the closer to the end of the contest.
If the Ghosts could have gotten some points out of the multiple red zone trips they had throughout the night it could have been close, but Ngaiiva Mason’s touchdown shortly after the half for Lowell be the final change to the scoreboard on the night.
“We gotta finish, we gotta finish drives. I think we moved the ball better in the second half in the first half,” said new Westford Academy head coach Adam Gagne. “The defense played good, but we gotta compete more on offense.”
The lack of offense played a stark contrast to the high octane offense that Gagne oversaw as offensive coordinator for the Ghost two years ago, but the new coach refused to look to the past and instead wants to look forward, particularly due to the fact that his squad was able to go toe-to-toe on defense at least with a much larger Lowell squad.
“That’s why we want Lowell and (Chelmsford) next week. We’ve got a rugged (Dual County League) schedule, so we want to be prepared,” said Gagne. “We don’t want to play push over teams.”