Lupo paces Cardinals’ 20-0 stunner over Panthers

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Bishop Guertin quarterback Josh Larson is brought down after a gain by the Nashua South double team of Ben Levine, right, and Jake McDevitt during Saturday night's city clash at Stellos Stadium.

NASHUA – What’s the one thing you always crave as a football team?


Bishop Guertin had it on Saturday night, as senior Joey Lupo raced for three TDs, including runs of 85 and 52 yards in a stunning 20-0 victory over city rival Nashua South at Stellos Stadium.

“Joey’s definitely the best athlete (on the team),” Guertin coach John Trisciani said. “It doesn’t take a smart football coach to tell you that in a spot like that, you’ve definitely got to get the ball in the best athlete’s hands.”

“Completely shocked,” Nashua South coach Scott Knight said. “Based on last three days of practice, I thought we were going to explode. And we didn’t.”

No, but Lupo did. He did a lot of his damage from the quarterback position after Cards starter Josh Larson got hurt in the first half, and rushed 14 times for 181 yards on the night.

“I just wanted to do my job,” said Lupo, who admitted he had never played QB before. “It was really unfortunate when Josh got hurt. I knew I had to step up, I knew it would be sometime, I’ve got to be prepared for everything. I just need to do my job.

Lupo’s third TD, the 52-yarder, came with 8:55 left to give BG a seemingly insurmountable 20-0 lead.

Both teams are 1-1 after last night, and had TDs called back by penalties. The most painful for South was a 23-yard pass from sophomore QB Mike Rutstein to Chris Keefe with just over six minutes left, but was negated by a hold that killed the drive. And that was about it.

Ironically, it didn’t start out well for the Cardinals, as Lupo fumbled the opening kickoff, giving the Panthers the ball at the Gueritn 38. But South could do nothing offensively.

On the Panthers’ second possession, Rutstein was picked off in the passing lane by BG linebacker Kyle Baker, who tipped the ball up in the air and came down with it, returning it near midfield.

It helped set up a Lupo 18 yard TD run with just over four minutes left in the first period and a 6-0 BG lead.

The Cards managed one more score before the half, Lupo racing 85 yards to paydirt with 3:26 left. Guertin got a two-point conversion and took a 14-0 lead into the break.

Both teams were frustrated by penalties that negated scores in the first five minutes of the third quarter. South had an 18-yard TD pass by Rutstein to Jacob Smith negated by a holding penalty, and a Lupo 72-yard run was called back by a hold as well.

The Panthers will try to get back on track next Friday night at Stellos vs. Keene, and as Knight said, “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Guertin will have a test next Saturday night here vs. Portsmouth 1-1.

You can guarantee the Clippers will have a kid named Lupo on their minds.

“It was a thrill,” Lupo said. “We the way we were playing, we definitely could come out with a win, and it happened.”