FOXBORO – An unsuspecting hero helped lead the Catholic Memorial high football team to a 27-7 win over King Philip in the Division 2 state final at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.
Freshman Peter Bourque, a Hingham resident, stepped up big when starting quarterback JC Petrongolo went out with an ankle injury. Bourque finished with two passing touchdowns to help the Knights repeat as state champs.
The freshman fit in just fine with a cast of star-studded seniors around him.
"It feels good putting on for the town that I’m from but most importantly for CM," said Bourque.
With a loaded team full of future collegiate players, Bourque understood his assignment would be a little easier.
"I tried to keep my composure knowing that we’re the better team," said Bourque. "We have better athletes, my O-line is going to keep me safe, I just had to get the guys the ball."
Bourque's performance allowed the Knights to end the season on a high note while also taking a peek at the future.
"(It) just doesn’t happen often in high school,” said CM coach John DiBiaso of Bourque's play. “When someone gets hurt, someone else steps up. Even tonight when JC sprained his ankle, we put the freshman 14-year old in and he didn’t miss a beat."
Petrongolo, a senior captain, played well before exiting with the injury. He threw for 71 yards and a TD.
Senior Maxwell Tucker did it all for the Knights as he finished with a touchdown catch and an interception. With just seconds left to go in the first half, Tucker caught a 22-yard pass from Bourque. Tucker tip-toed along the sideline before leaping over a pile at the goal line to put CM up 14-7.
“The touchdown, end of the half we just had to get in the end zone because it was 8-7,” said Tucker. “Getting in the end zone puts us up a whole possession and they have to come and score as soon as the half starts.”
Tucker’s interception came in the third quarter with 3:33 on the clock. He caught a throw up the middle and returned it back for 24 yards.
“With the interception it’s all about making big plays in the big time moments,” said Tucker. “The interception led to a touchdown and that’s all we needed at that point.”
Tucker will be play football Akron University next year.
Senior Carson Harwood’s rushing ability was a nightmare for KP’s defensive front. He put CM up with a 5-yard run up the middle with 7:49 left in the first quarter. He finished with 89 yards rushing, 39 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving).
KP's defense did have some success and forced three turnovers on downs but the Warriors struggled to move the ball.
With 9:49 left in the first half, junior Thomas McLeish capped off a 61-yard scoring drive with a 4-yard scramble up the middle to cut the deficit to 8-7.
CM has turned into a winner in recent years, and now Bourque hopes to continue those winning ways.
“Since I was in seventh grade, this group of people have always helped me, they always led the way and they helped us out tonight. They’re great leaders and they set a great tone for all the young guys,” said Bourque.
Now that the Knights have a battle tested 6-foot-2, 155-pound championship quarterback for the next three years, it will be interesting to see what’s in store.
But according to DiBiaso, that’ll have to wait until 2023.
“We’ll get right back to it for next year, but I don’t want to hear anything until after Christmas,” said DiBiaso.
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Hingham's Bourque helps Catholic Memorial football win state title