by Ed Niser


Ayer-Shirley quarterback Zak Walker threw 18-of-39 for 227 yards, and 3 TD's in the Panthers shootout loss to the Bromfield-Maynard Tigers 48-35. Bromfield-Maynard continued to feed the ball to their shifty halfback, Sean Peterson. Peterson racked up 107 yards in the first quarter alone.

"You think you have Peterson you don't," Said Ayer-Shirley head coach Jason Rivers. "This kid plays lights out, he spins, he cuts, and he likes to finish runs. We knew where he was on the field offensively and defensively at all times. "

If you like a good defensive struggle, Friday night's game between Bromfield-Maynard, and Ayer-Shirley wouldn't have been to your liking. Tigers star running back Sean Peterson had 23 carries totaling 262-yards, and five touchdowns. Bromfield-Maynard went up by as much as 13 points with 9:34 left in the game. The Panthers would answer with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Zak Walker to Justis Wallace that was well by Maynard defensive back Cal Howes with 5:47 left in the game, to cut the Tigers' lead to 40-35.

"I am playing at points in time six or seven freshman and sophomores on the field. The score was 48-35, 35 points is enough to win any ball game," said Rivers. "Missed tackles on defense, and not executing on offense in the second half really put our defense in a bind.

Wallace wrestled the ball away from Howes on the ground as he extended to make the difficult catch in the back corner of the end zone.


The Panthers were forced to go with the onside kick, and failed to recover. Maynard would tack on another touchdown for good measure on a 12-yard run by Peterson with 2:28 left. The Tigers defense would do the rest down the stretch to secure the win.

Peterson started the scoring bonanza Friday night with a five-yard touchdown scamper with 7:13 remaining in the first-quarter. Earlier in the drive Peterson broke a 55-yard run down the left side-line to set up his touchdown, to give the Tigers and early 7-0 lead following the Preston Wilkey extra point.

Senior Ayer-Shirley wide receiver Justis Wallace wasted all of 14 seconds to take back the ensuing kickoff in for a touchdown from 82-yards out to bring the Panthers within 1, 7-6.

Maynard would answer back on their next possession with a touchdown run by Peterson on a sweep to the left side where he bowled over a host of would be Panthers tacklers on his way into the end zone giving the Tigers a 14-6. Maynard's second touchdown was set up by a Zach Boerman bullet to Alex Martinec and a 30-yard gallop by Peterson into enemy territory.

Ayer-Shirley would find the end zone on a 35-yard laser from Walker to Wallace as time expired on the first quarter, cutting the lead to 14-12. The Panthers would go for the two-point conversion, and Walker took it in himself tying the game at 14-14 as the first-quarter came to a close.

Sean Peterson broke a 55-yard rush after some fancy footwork down the right-sideline deep into Panther territory. Maynard freshman Stephen Peterson, took over where his brother left off by pummeling his way into the end zone from two-yards out to give the Tigers a 20-14 lead. The extra point was no good.

Zak Walker was dialed up a 20-yard dart to his brother Alex Walker in the end zone to knot the game back up at 20-20 with less than 6:30 minutes on the clock. Ayer-Shirley forced the Tigers to go four-and-out; on their ensuing drive they made the most of their possession. Zak Walker would connect with his tight end Richard on a 75-yard bomb down the sidelines to give the Panthers a 27-20 lead with 2:32 remaining in the half.

The Panthers gave the Tigers just enough time to punch the ball into the end zone one more time before halftime. Bryan Kiley headlined Bromfield-Maynard's trip to the end zone with a 30-yard burst up the middle. Sean Peterson would punch the ball in from nine-yards out with just 28 seconds left in the first half. At halftime Bromfield-Maynard trailed 27-26.

In the third quarter, Sean Kennedy romped across the goaline with 6:24 remaining. The score by Kennedy ultimately was the game-clincher.

Week nine Ayer-Shirley will travel to Baldwinville to take on Narragansett. The Warriors are 6-2 ovreall on the season, coming off a decisive 60-34 victory over Saint Bernard's. Bromfield-Maynard's next game is against Murdock. The Blue Devils are coming fresh off a bye week when they travel to Maynard to take on the Tigers.