Foran did its best to limit Shelton’s punishing running back Jason Thompson from another highlight-reel performance. With a remarkable 453 yards on just 43 carries entering Friday, the 185-pound Thompson was held to 30 yards on the ground in the first half. He added another 47 yards rushing in the second half, finishing a 35-13 win over the Lions with 15 carries.
But the Gaels had other options to turn to, including quarterback Mark Piccirillo and wideout Michael Pingree. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound quarterback totaled 88 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Pingree tacked on a 25-yard scoring run on a sweep to make it 28-7 midway through the third.
Ahead 21-7 at halftime, Shelton emphasized its ground attack. Of the Gaels’ 33 plays in the second half, only four were passes.
“We just tried to control the clock,” Shelton coach Jeff Roy said. “We wanted to control the clock because they’re so dangerous offensively. … Our quarterback and Thompson were grinding it out.”
For all the electricity Shelton’s offense provided over its first three games, scoring an average of 49 points, the Gaels’ defense proved to be just as valuable on Friday. The Gaels picked off Foran’s Jake Kasuba three times, and held the Lions scoreless for 39 minutes after an opening touchdown.
“We’ve got to play a perfect game to beat a team like that,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said.