The journey for the Woburn High School football team might not have gotten off to a fast start. But the Tanners area headed forward in the right direction nonetheless.
Woburn trailed visiting Billerica, 12-6, into the fourth quarter, but found its rhythm and scored 13 unanswered points to escape its season-opener with a 19-12 win on Friday night.
“This is what you coach for. This is what the kids work for in the weight room all offseason,” said head coach Rocky Nelson. “Our journey started tonight. It wasn’t easy. But we got it done.”
Marvin Jean scampered about 90 yards on a kickoff in the first half for the team’s only points before intermission, but the Indians pounced into the lead and held onto it into the final quarter.
But with 10:10 to go in contest, quarterback Robert Voci connected with Christian Cesvette on a touchdown to knot the game at 12-12, though the extra point was no good.
Woburn took the lead for good with 4:54 left when Jean dashed for an 18-yard touchdown down the sideline and Nick Dangora pounded home the extra point.
The Tanners used a sack by Mihail Vasilev to get the ball back, and relied on runs from Voci and Jean to melt the remaining clock and stop Billerica from having a chance to tie the game.
It wasn’t all good news for the locals, however, as they had three additional touchdowns called back on holding penalties.
“I thought Billerica was in better game shape than we were early and it took us a little bit to catch up to the actual speed of the game,” said Nelson. “Our goal is No. 1 to make the playoffs with this new format and get off to a fast start. We did, and we beat a team that is a division above us, and that’s big.”