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Nipmuc Football Grabs Final Playoff Spot

Nipmuc football rallied for a 21-14 win over Sutton last Saturday to improve to 3-4 on the season, good enough to earn the eighth and final playoff spot in Central Mass division four. "Getting to the playoffs is huge for us," said Nipmuc head coach Phil Schiloski. "We have been bitten a bit by the injury bug so to get this win and go into the post-season is a big boost for us and gives us some good momentum."
As they have done for most of the season, the Warriors relied heavily on senior running back Kyle Braile. He carried the ball 27 times for 177 yards and the go-ahead touchdown with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. "It was a hard-fought battle for sure," said Schiloski. "We rode the legs of Kyle Braile again. He kept churning out yards and that kept the Sutton offense off the field for most of the second half."
Sutton jumped out to a 14-0 lead with touchdowns in the first and second quarters. The Warriors pulled to within seven heading into the locker room as freshman quarterback Derek DeMarzo tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to older brother Nick to make it 14-7. Derek was so poised in the pocket," said Schiloski of the young signal caller. "He played like he was a senior. He's a tall kid, around 6'3", so he has great vision to see his wideouts and he was spot on."
DeMarzo completed six of eight passes on the day for 159 yards on the day. In the second half, Nipmuc used a steady dose of Braile on the ground to move the ball down the field. His lead blocker, Pete Schiloski, capped off a third-quarter drive with a five-yard touchdown run to tie the game, setting up Braile's game-winning score in the final frame. On the defensive side of the ball, Patrick Robinson led the way with eight tackles.
The Warriors won all three games at home this year and took wins in two of their final three to grab a spot in the playoffs. Nipmuc edged out 2-5 Grafton and Holy Name for the eighth seed and will pay a visit to top-seeded Shepherd Hill this Friday at 7 p.m.
Playing a tough schedule that included several division two teams, the Rams finished the year 6-1 with their only loss coming against the top team in D2, 7-0 Leominster. Running back Jake Gelb and junior quarterback Drew Jean-Guillaume have shared the load on the ground, with more than 1,000 yards rushing combined. Jean-Guillaume has nine rushing touchdowns on the season and two more through the air.
"They are very fast and they run the ball a lot," said Schiloski of the Rams. "In the three films we have seen, I think they threw the ball twice. They pound it on the ground just like we do, so this will be a match up of similar styles. We want to get the ball to Kyle 25 times and they will run the ball as well, it should be a quick game."
Nipmuc has been anchored by a strong offensive line clearing the way for Braile on the ground. The workhorse back has amassed nearly 1,000 yards rushing to go with nine touchdowns. His 992 rushing yards represents the second-highest total in Central Mass this season.
The winner of the Shepherd Hill-Nipmuc game will advance to the second round and a meeting with the winner of the four-five tilt between Tantasqua and St. Peter-Marian.




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