KEENE, N.H. — You get to work on different game-like situations in a 7-on-7 tournament.
For Billerica, the team got in a little late, last-minute drive at the Northeast 7v7 North regional in Keene, N.H.
From the looks of it, Billerica has that situation down pat.
In the Small Division final against Milton, quarterback JT Green worked his team down the field, then completed touchdown and extra-point passes as Billerica earned a 22-21 victory.
BB&N won the Large Division with a 16-0 championship victory over Westford Academy.
All in all, some impressive talent was on display, as teams got in some work before the fall season begins in over a month.
“I’m ready. We’re ready, yeah,” BB&N receiver Ronan Hanafin said. “Ready to bring the New England (title) home.”
BB&N will get that chance, as will Billerica, as the tournament had Large and Small divisions for the first time this year.
The Milton-Billerica final was more than just the dramatic finish. Milton quarterback Owen McHugh got the Wildcats off to an early lead with some pinpoint passing. McHugh was one of the best quarterbacks at the event.
But down 21-15, Billerica chipped away as the clock ticked down. Green completed a touchdown pass to junior Mike Murnane on a contested catch ball as time ran out. With the score tied, Green hit Jason Martin for a very similar play, and Billerica took the title.
Also playing well for Billerica was sophomore outside linebacker and wide receiver Steve Gentile.
“We just wanted to stick to the plays that we were comfortable with, just execute, and try to get in the end zone to win the game,” said Green of the last drive.
Billerica also won the North regional back in 2019, and is always a factor in the Northeast 7v7.
Exeter NH- July 16: Andover’s Shaday Betances and Chelmsford’s Jack McCarthy compete in the Northeast 7 v 7 football tournament at Exeter High School July 16, 2022 in Exeter New Hampshire. (Photo by Reba Saldanha)
“We just try our hardest every time we’re out there, every play,” Green said. “We don’t give up. We work hard in the offseason and it pays off most of the time.”
Hanafin put on a show. Whether it was a go route, fade, or crossing pattern, the wide receiver and safety showed why he has double-digit offers, including the University of Alabama.
He had good chemistry with new quarterback Henry Machnik, a lefty who is transferring in from Barnstable.
“Henry’s a great quarterback, and I’m excited to see what’s going to come,” Hanafin said.
Running back Bo MacCormack and defensive back Isaiah Kacyvenski also played well for the Knights.
“It’s good to get out here during the summer and kind of work on the passing game a little bit,” Hanafin said. “These 7-on-7s are great for all the skill guys. Obviously, the offensive linemen are working, doing their thing. We’re just happy to be out here.”
Westford Academy made a great run to earn the final after beating Dexter in the semis. Anthony Rudiman, Drew Wilson, Matt Hagan, Luke Fremault, and Alex Wilson are all expected to have big seasons for the Grey Ghosts.