Brunswick topped Williston Northampton on Senior Day on Cosby Field on Saturday, 38-12. With the conference win, the Bruins (8-1, 6-1) clinch a share of the Erickson League crown for the first time since 2014 and will play Choate in the NEPSAC's Mike Silipo Bowl, the lone Class 'A' post-season match-up.
The title tilt will be the 13th NEPSAC bowl appearance for Brunswick and the first since 2016.
After a sluggish offensive start, the Bruins were trailing the Wildcats by a 6-0 margin late in the first half.
With less than a minute to play before the break, the Brunswick defense narrowly missed notching a safety on a third down play on the Wildcats’ one-yard line, as Williston Northampton was forced to punt on the following play.
The Brunswick offense took over on the visitor’s 25-yard line without any timeouts and marched to the Wildcats’ 12-yard line in three plays. On a first-and-10, Brunswick quarterback Nicky Winegardner found wide-out Cornelius Johnson in the corner of the end zone for a TD with only six seconds left to play. Following a made extra-point kick by Chris Chavez, the Bruins took a 7-6 lead into the break.
The Brunswick defense forced a three-and-out to open the second half, as the Bruins’ rushing attack came to life with the legs of Michael Gottlieb. Gottlieb carried the load on the three-play, 63-yard drive, including a slippery 30-yard scoring scamper to give the Bruins a 13-6 advantage.
Moments later, Liam Fairback made it a 20-6 game, intercepting a Wildcat trick play, as the visitors tried a throw-back pass to their quarterback. Fairback, sitting in his zone as a cornerback, sniffed out the pass and ran back the interception 33 yards to pay dirt. The pick was Fairback’s seventh on the season.
The Wildcats answered with a touchdown on their next possession, slicing the Brunswick lead to 20-12 in the third quarter.
Brunswick countered with its own touchdown, as Gottlieb keyed a 74-yard drive with a 38-yard run and capped the drive with a 10-yard rushing touchdown, giving the Bruins a 26-12 lead.
Noah Pierre recovered the ensuing kickoff for Brunswick on the Wildcats’ 25-yard line. One play later, Gottlieb dashed 25-yards through traffic for his third touchdown run, as Brunswick took a commanding 32-12 advantage late in the third quarter.
The Bruins added a final touchdown on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by David MacGillivray in the fourth quarter, setting the final score at 38-12.
Gottlieb finished with another excellent day on the ground, rushing for career-high 201 yards on 18 carries, as Johnson led the receivers with five catches for 60 yards and a score. The Brunswick defense held a high-scoring Wildcat offense to nearly 20 points below their average, while limiting the visitors to minus-three yards rushing on 28 carries.