ABINGTON — On his 18th birthday, Bolu Sotonwa rose to the occasion.
The senior running back dashed for 273 yards and had four total touchdowns, leading the Middleboro Sachems (6-2) to a South Shore League victory over Abington (6-2).
“I’ve been grinding at practice,” Sotonwa said. “After that, I just bring it out here and show the talent.”
The Sachems marched into Green Wave territory on the first drive of the game but Abington was able to get a stop on fourth-and-one to neutralize the opportunity. The Green Wave were quickly forced to punt, but got another fourth down stop on the ensuing drive
The Green Wave would then march down the field, via several long runs from the trio of Ryan Simonetti, Ryan Solimini and Nazir Paulding. Facing a fourth-and-four near the goal line, a Michael Riley pass was tipped and intercepted by Sachems defensve back Andrew Falk.
“(The interception) completely shifted the momentum,” Middleboro quarterback Nate Goodine said. “We were driving on offense and then we would have that one play that caused us to lose yards and we wouldn’t recover. That interception changed our morale and from there on we were able to keep our foot on their throat and not let up.”
Two plays later, Sotonwa took it 73 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
“The birthday boy decided to run for a big game,” Sachems’ coach Patrick Kingman said.” He carried the load and we have been waiting for that all year.”
The Green Wave would have a three-and-out on the next drive, and the Sachems would respond with a lengthy drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown from Goodine to Sotonwa that brought the first half to a close.
Chasing 12 and starting with the ball, the Green Wave needed to get something going. The team did just that, marching down the field and finishing the job via a four-yard run from Solimini.
This momentum didn’t last for long as Middleboro charged down the field and Sotonwa scored his second rushing touchdown via an 11-yard run.
This brought the game to the fourth quarter, and a muffed punt from Abington gave the Sachems the ball once again. One play later, Sotonwa had his fourth total touchdown.
A Nate Goodine touchdown would round out the scoring, giving the Sachems a dominant league victory.
“Our biggest thing that we did is not give up any big plays,” Kingman said. “Big, over the top plays. We’ve given up big, third down plays in the past and didn’t do that today. We kept them behind the chains. How can you not be happy about that?”