The Raiders battled hard to keep their MIAA football tournament run alive, but a combination of a hot Triton offense and turnovers resulted in a 42-36 loss for Watertown in the North Section Div. 3 final at Victory Field, Friday night.
After scoring first on a Deon Smith to John Korte 19-yard pass, the Raiders (8-2) suddenly found themselves down 21-6. Triton quarterback Lewis L’Heureux scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground, and then the Vikings scooped up an errant lateral and ran for a third score.
Watertown’s spirit would not been held down despite, however, and they battled back again and again.
Smith ran for a 56-yard touchdown, but for the second time the extra point was blocked. The score at the half was 21-12 Triton. The Vikings started the third quarter with another long touchdown, this time a 63-yard L’Heureux pass.
Korte caught his second touchdown with 4:31 left in the third, and then minutes later the Raiders scored a defensive touchdown of their own when Matthew Muldrew scooped up a Viking fumble and ran for a touchdown. With another missed extra point, the Raiders had cut the lead to 33-25.
Triton (8-2) responded with a touchdown, but the Smith to Korte combination struck again, this time with a 61-yard touchdown pass.
With the score 40-32 and 6:38 left in the fourth quarter Watertown had life and momentum on its side, but Triton put the game out of reach with a touchdown run by L’Heureux.
For the second year in a row, the Raiders’ tournament ended in the North Section final. Coach John Cacace told the Boston Globe that it was a tough loss.
“It hurts a lot,’’ Cacace said. “We talk about it all the time. Turnovers can change a game. It’s unfortunate we got ourselves into that hole. Our kids made some big plays, really fought right back into it. We had a chance, but too many mistakes down the stretch.”
Watertown still has the Thanksgiving Day game at Belmont remaining.