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Frank Cosolito, Joshua Pierre-Charles lead South to Shriners football victory

📁 Slider 🕔22.June 2016

Bob Albright Sunday, June 19, 2016

Two weeks of practice does not a defense make, but the members of the South defensive squad proved in yesterday’s 38th annual Shriners Classic that they are certainly quick studies. The unit produced three key turnovers and held a potent North offense in check as they rolled to a 30-20 win at Cawley Stadium.

“We went through our two weeks of practice and the first week the offense was taking charge,” said South coach Ken LaChapelle of Northbridge. “Last week the defense really settled down and challenge us and I really began to question what we were doing (on offense).”

Millis running back Joshua Pierre-Charles rushed for 58 yards and two scores and Catholic Memorial defensive end Frank Cosolito came up with a key interception and several key stops to each earn MVP honors as the South scored 23 unanswered second-half points before the North scored two touchdowns in the final minute.

Tied 7-7 at the half, the tide changed when Cosolito stepped in front of an ill-advised pass deep in North territory. Two plays later, Pierre-Charles scored.

“I saw the running back come out of the backfield and I saw the opportunity and just stepped in front of it,” said Cosolito, who will play both football and hockey at Middlebury next year. “Being able to play with guys I have grown up playing against and play for a great cause has been a great experience.”

The South tacked on another score when Xaverian’s Coby Tippett (three catches, 102 yards) made a great one-handed grab on a pass from Koby Schofer. Tippett fumbled the ball at the goal line but Plymouth North lineman Justin Cabral recovered the ball in the end zone.

An interception by Braintree’s Justin Dutcher set up a field goal and Pierre-Charles closed out the scoring after another North turnover when he got to the edge and sprinted 35 yards for the score.

“I think we all picked it up in the second half,” said Pierre-Charles, who will play at Nichols next year. “The linemen did their jobs and made the holes and I just hit them.”

The win was extra sweet for LaChapelle as he got to coach his quarterback and grandson, Schofer, one final time after taking home a Super Bowl title last fall.

“It was pretty special,” said the coach. “Maybe I should retire right now.”

The North was led by offensive MVP Doug Santos (110 yards, two TDs), Tewksbury receiver Adam Gajjaoui (80 yards) and defensive MVP Joe Samuelson of North Andover.