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BVT Football Topples Assabet

Patrick Durkin (No. 1) of Douglas tries to shake off a defender as he heads for a short gain during Valley Tech's 16-14 Homecoming football win over Assabet Valley. Stephen Grabowski photo

Any coach will tell you there is a huge difference between 2-1 and 1-2 all the way up to and including the head coach of the 2-1 New England Patriots. But when getting to 2-1 means coming back to beat a league rival in the closing minutes and that rival is a team you have not beaten in four years, it makes the victory even sweeter.
Such was the feeling for Blackstone Valley Tech when the Beavers outlasted Assabet Valley 16-14 last weekend. Trailing 14-8, BVT mounted a drive primarily by running the football down the field. Sophomore fullback Pat Durkin finished the drive with his second touchdown of the day to tie the game at 14 and give head coach Glenn Arnold an interesting decision.
"Our kicking game has struggled a bit" he said. "We felt like we had driven down the field by running up the middle and had them against the wall a bit. We felt our percentages were better going for two." Arnold stuck with his young back, and Durkin scored from two yards out to provide the winning points with only a minute left on the 4th quarter clock and give the Beavers a victory over one of their tougher opponents. "Assabet is a year in and year out rival, "said Arnold. "If they aren't the best team in our league, they're close. They are clearly the best team we have faced in our league."
After a season-opening win over Tri County and a loss to Littleton in the second game of the year, Arnold hopes his team's most recent win will be another step in the growth of a relatively young squad. "I think our skill positions have stepped up, our line is young, and they still have a ways to go. In terms of the overall team mentality, they are on the right track. They know what it takes to win," he said.
A stellar example of that mentality is Durkin, who may be the most pleasant surprise for his coach so far. "He was one of those kids where I wasn't sure how he would fit in," said Arnold. "He has stepped right in. I'm very happy to have him the next two years."
Another player who has stood out for the Beavers is senior defensive back Ryan Leshinski who had several passes defended against Assabet, including a key interception to halt a drive.
Valley Tech heads into another difficult game this weekend with Maynard coming to town. BVT lost last year's match-up between the two 33-8, but Arnold sees this year's game as a good opportunity. "Assabet beat (Maynard), but I told the kids don't take that for granted," he said. "They are a very talented team, well coached; they have a lot of good athletes. It's a good chance for us to play with someone in our league with whom we feel we are on equal footing."
And the coach of the 2-1 Beavers has a pretty good idea what it will take to get to 3-1. "I expect they will give our kids a good game," said Arnold. "I think we are going to have to play our best game to beat them."




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