Lawrenceville turns away Hill School late, wins 28-26

LAWRENCEVILLE >> Throughout its history, the Hill School-Lawrenceville School rivalry has become one of the most well-known battles throughout the country.

Dating back to 1887, it’s also become a signature ending to the season for both teams.

On Saturday, Lawrenceville survived the 186th annual rivalry game, holding on late for a 28-26 win over The Hill.

“Our guys fought their way back into it, even when they trailed,” said Hill School head coach Dan Rackovan. “It’s a shame we had to lose it.”

Trailing by eight with under two minutes to go, Hill School quarterback Clayton Oliver ran a 10-yard keeper to make it a two-point game at 28-26.

On the two-point try, running back Trey Humes was stuffed immediately in the backfield by defensive end Christian Schade to seal it for Lawrenceville.

“We played them down to the wire, and that shows a lot about us,” said Oliver. “It’s a tough loss, no doubt, but we showed a lot of heart and fought hard to the end.”

With the loss, Hill School’s season comes to a close at 1-4 MAPL (1-7 overall) while Lawrenceville finishes at 2-3 MAPL (3-5 overall).

“That’s exactly what these games should be like,” said Lawrenceville head coach Danny O’Dea of the win. “It was tight, hard-fought the whole way through and it came down to the wire. It’s what this rivalry is all about.”

Lawrenceville racked up 407 yards of offense while the Hill totaled 350 yards.

Big Red wide out Edward Wingfield turned in a monster performance, hauling in 11 catches for 220 yards including a 30-yard touchdown. The junior made a 45-yard reception to set up the Lawrenceville touchdown by quarterback Joseph Kalosky just before the half to tie it up at 14-14.

“I went out there and tried to make a play anytime my number was called,” said Wingfield. “It was huge for us to even (the score) going into halftime.”

Kalosky completed 16 of his 31 passes for 296 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also scored two rushing touchdowns. Running back Samuel Wamakima piled up 48 yards and a score on 13 carries.

“Our offense did a really good job of moving the football,” said O’Dea. “We never put ourselves in bad field position, and that took a lot of pressure off.”

For The Hill, Oliver racked up 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns including a 55-yarder in the second quarter. He also completed 12 of his 30 attempts for 194 yards and two touchdowns to Mac Gallagher.

Richie Tabarrini had three receptions for 75 yards, including a 43-yard reception to set up Oliver’s final touchdown.

“I was the one who wanted to run the ball right at the defense,” said Oliver of the team’s play call on the final two-point conversion. “It was my call. Our line was getting push on them all game, and I figured the defense would key in on me. Unfortunately for us, the defense was ready.”

It’s the sort of thing that comes with being a leader, especially at the quarterback position.

“It’s a part of the game. We went down fighting and put everything we had out there. I’m so proud of the team. We’ve come a long way since the season started.”

Rackovan had a similar appreciation for his players.

“I’m so proud of them,” said Rackovan. “We’ve gone through a pretty tough year, but none of these guys ever lost sight. They all worked so hard and gave everything all year.”

NOTES >> Hill School defensive end Will McCarter finished with a sack and also came away with an interception. Zach Sheehan also had a sack. … Henry Flannery made two sacks for Lawrenceville. Mohammed Diakite had an interception.

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