WORCESTER, Mass. — Coach Tim Griffiths said his Leicester Wolverines football team has seen its difficulties in poor field conditions, and Saturday's morning whiteout definitely qualified.
"We've struggled all year on bad surfaces, but it wouldn't have mattered today because [West Boylston's] front five just beat us up," Griffiths said after dropping the Division 5 Super Bowl to the favored West Boylston Lions, 14-6, at Worcester State University.
"We didn't play smart football today. We had a bunch of penalties."
Even so, Leicester (10-3) came up with a desperately needed stop on a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter and took the ball at the 50-yard line with a chance to tie score against the Lions (12-1). But the running attack, led by Nick Kenneway (13 runs for 71 yards), was unable to complete the drive. The Wolverines took the ball to West Boylston's 30-yard line before getting rocked on a fourth down by the Lions' Mike Pace.
Leicester's star quarterback, Drew Mazzeo, was also shut down, running for just 25 yards on 15 carries.
"They negated Drew," Griffiths said. "There were a few times when he was able to find some seams, but this is really the first time he's been shut down."
The snowy game was a ground war throughout and the scoring evaporated after long drives by both teams in the first half. West Boylston went on a 10-play, 50-yard drive that ended in 1-yard Steven Gould touchdown in the first quarter.
Leicester then took the next drive 77 yards on 15 plays, ending with a 1-yard Mazzeo touchdown early in the second quarter.
Senior Mike Pace led the Lions on the ground and laid hard hits on defense when they were needed. The burly senior ran 19 times for 89 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to eight points.
"We missed the playoffs by one game last year and we knew we had to get it done here — it's the best feeling in the world," Pace said. The Super Bowl win was West Boylston's first state title since 1988.
"For a Super Bowl, this is the kind of game you want to play in, especially as a senior."
For Leicester, it was the team's third trip to the postseason in three years. Last year the Wolverines beat Clinton, 20-14.
"It's not going to be a fun bus ride home, but it's been a great year," Griffiths said, noting his seniors have won about 40 games over the course of four years.
"Leicester football is back. We're a team you don't want to play."
WB — Steven Gould 1 run (Devin Desautels run), 4:45
L — Drew Mazzeo 1 run (run failed), 7:32
Halftime: West Boylston 8, Leicester 6
WB — Mike Pace 1 run (run failed), 5:54
Final Score: West Boylston 14, Leicester 6