WORCESTER -- In the minutes immediate following the stadium clock striking 0:00, everyone associated with Nashoba Tech's football program took some time to savor the moment.
Nashoba Tech 39, Bartlett 16
And who can blame the players, coaches and fans who pledge allegiance to the Vikings for getting captivated by the sweet smell of success that other schools had for so long enjoyed at Nashoba Tech's expense.
In what proved to be a banner day, the Vikings expunged their gridiron disappointments of the past with a performance that's sure to forever be part of Nashoba Tech athletic folklore.
Vinny Eramo threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score and Adam Blouin rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns as Nashoba Tech beat Bartlett, 39-16, to capture the Division 8 Central sectional title at Commerce Bank Field at Foley Stadium Saturday.
After a 1-3 start this fall, the No. 1 seeded Vikings (7-3) have ripped off six straight wins en route to the sectional crown. Third-seeded Bartlett is 6-4.
"It's great to see us come full circle," said Nashoba Tech head coach James Creed. "From some long hard seasons of just trying to finish over .500 to having something to put in the trophy case, and having a little banner to put up, is great for these kids. They deserve it."
The Vikings not only deserve it, they earned it the hard way, overcoming a 16-6 first quarter deficit by outscoring Bartlett 33-0 over the final three quarters.
Next up for Nashoba Tech, which reportedly had not had a winning season since 2007, is a state semifinal game against Western Mass.
"I don't have words to explain what this means," said Blouin, a senior four-year starter. "I'm just so happy right now. We took some lumps along the way to get to his point. We went from being a team that won seven total games my first three years of football here, and now we have seven wins in one season and we're Central Mass champs. It's crazy."
Bartlett scored on its first two possessions of the game. Then the Vikings defense completely shut down Bartlett's punishing ground game.
With Nashoba Tech trailing, 16-6, Nashoba Tech's defense came up with a play that swung the game's momentum in its favor. Kyle Stumpf recovered a Bartlett fumble at the Indians' 5 yard line. Three plays later Blouin powered into the end zone on a two-yard run. Tyler Aiden kicked the PAT and Bartlett's lead had been trimmed to 16-13.
With 5:14 remaining in the first half, the Vikings took the lead for good, 20-16, on a four-yard TD run by Blouin.
Blouin got some great blocks throughout the game from offensive linemen Sean Thomas, Liam Shockley, Terry O'Reilly, Tommy Palmer and DJ Fraser.
"I tried to hit the holes as hard as I could and run 100 percent," said Blouin. "My O-line helped 100-percent. They were great. I wouldn't have been able to do anything without them."
Eramo tossed his second TD pass to Jose Sabo with 1:33 to play in the third quarter to increase the lead to 26-16. Sabo hauled in a 21-yard TD pass for the first Vikings' score.
In the fourth quarter, Blouin capped off his huge day with a 12-yard TD run. Eramo scored the Vikings' final TD on a 1-yard keeper.
"When we fell behind, there was no panic," said Eramo. "We never stop believing. All season, our saying has been, 'Why not us?'"
Leading the way on defense were Blouin, Tommy Dean, Eli Norton (fumble recovery) and Alden.
Eramo passed for 88 yards and rushed for 54 yards in the biggest win of his stellar career.
"We've always been like a laughingstock (when it comes to football)," said Eramo. "Teams looked at us like it's Nashoba Tech and that's an easy win. Not anymore. Now that we've won this, we're having the last laugh."
Follow Carmine Frongillo on Twitter @cwfrongi