WA falls to Acton Boxborough on turkey day

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WA falls to Acton Boxborough on turkey day

Dan Allison, Staff Writer

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On a bright and crisp Thanksgiving morning, the Westford Academy Grey Ghosts welcomed the Colonials of Acton Boxborough. The two schools have been playing in this Turkey day classic over the last 20 years with WA taking the last meeting in 2016, 30-28.

With WA looking to make it 2 wins in a row against their rival, things started to take a bad turn before fans even took their seats as Westford fumbled the kickoff giving AB a chance to get on the board early.

The Grey Ghost defense made a impressive defensive stop, forcing a turnover on downs and Westford obtaining possession. WA’s defensive success did not transfer to the other side of the ball as AB jostled them, pinning them back for 4th and 25 making the only option for the ghosts a punt.

Acton Boxborough did not mess around with their 2nd possession and with 2:11 left in the 1st, AB made a house call for 6 as a short pass led to a big run for the Colonials. At the end of the first quarter of play, Acton Boxborough had a one score lead.

At the start of the second quarter, Westford started with a bang as they connected on a big pass play that set them up in the red zone. With a pound the rock mentality, WA was denied and the Ghosts missed a scoring opportunity. The two teams went on to trade unsuccessful possessions back and forth.

After a WA turnover on downs, AB moved the ball down the field in a snap before they ended the scoring drought with a goal line run to make it 14-0 with only 27 seconds left in the 2nd quarter.  With a 2 score deficit and AB getting the ball to start the 2nd half, the Ghosts found themselves in a hole.

Acton Boxborough didn’t take their foot off the gas and opened the 2nd half with a big pass play moving the ball into the red zone once again. A few short gain plays led to AB inside the 10 giving them the opportunity to run the sweep from left to right and into the endzone for the third touchdown of the day. 7:34 left in the 3rd and AB had a 3 score lead.

Things looked bleak for the Ghosts and if they wanted to get back into this one the offense needed to wake up. WA was on the Acton side of the field on a crucial 4th down, but they could not pick up the first as they missed on the deep ball. Then there was another turnover on downs for the Westford offense.

The Colonials kept firing away at the tired Westford defense, moving the ball down the field in a blink of an eye and taking one in for 6 on a QB keeper up the middle. With only 8:45 left to play in the game and a 4 score lead, AB had silenced the Ghosts in a hurry.

The clock dwindled down with short run plays until Westford took one up the middle for 15 yards into the endzone for the first time in the game. The shutout was broken and with 4 minutes left in the game, WA put some points on the scoreboard. AB still leads, 28-7.

Westford attempted the onside kick as it trickled past the Acton defense and Westford fell on it to recover possession. A glimpse of hope peeked out for the Ghosts until a interception on the first play of the drive sealed the deal. The clock hit zero with Acton Boxborough defeating Westford Academy, 28-7.

The team and the fans stuck around after the game to congratulate and to celebrate the seniors playing their final game of this beloved rivalry along with their final game as a Grey Ghost. The sun dipped lower in the sky on a cold Thanksgiving Thursday as another Westford Academy football season is in the books.