Lancers’ Mack Plaque underdog story ends with uncertainty

The stands have cleared by now. The parking lots are empty. The sounds of the cheers and jeers of hundreds of fans has gone silent. The hard working athletes rest after tough practices and grueling games. The unwelcoming sight of red and white is gone from Londonderry High School, replaced again by bright blue. Mack Plaque weekend has officially come to an end.

From a huge win under the lights Friday night, to carrying on an undefeated volleyball season, to a double overtime soccer game, Mack Plaque had its fill of highs and lows, all taking place right here at LHS.

Senior Jack Drabik punctuates a touchdown with an extra point. Drabik’s highlight from Friday night comes in the form of a 36-yard field goal in the second half. (Christine O’Loughlin)

Heading into Friday night, Pinkerton Academy led the Mack Plaque score 3-0, beating Lancer Nation in both cross country meets (boys and girls) and the golf match. In order to take the plaque, the Lancers would have to win every single match up over the weekend. Lancer Football at the time was 2-0 against NHIAA competition (2-1 for the season with their loss against Bishop Hendricken). The Astros also went into Friday night undefeated, but left Lancer Park in a 31-6 blowout loss.

Friday night’s game got started immediately when senior Anthony Amaro returned a 92-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff. The Lancers were up 17-0 at the half, and never put the breaks on till the clock hit zero. Mack Plaque score: 3-1 Pinkerton.

Saturday’s games started bright and early at 10 AM, with the undefeated Lancer girl’s volleyball team getting things started for the day. Londonderry won set one with ease with strong support from seniors Rebecca Tinkler and Lacey Turner. The girls then won set two 25-13 and looked for an easy sweep of the Astros. Set three, however, proved more difficult than the first two–leading the Lancers to play behind for a majority of the set.

However, the Lancer pulled out a 25-16 win in set three. This display of strength cannot be highlighted without mentioning the power held at the service line from senior Sydney Rankin, and strong assists from senior Alexis Small. Mack Plaque score: 3-2 Pinkerton

Lancer Nation then turned its attention to the field hockey game at 11:30 a.m. Pinkerton got things started first, scoring their goal early in the first period. That didn’t stop the Lancers, who

Senior Amanda Fawcett throws in the ball in the first half of the game. Fawcett proved to be a strong force in Londonderry’s fight against the Astros. (Christine O’Loughlin)

answered with two goals of their own in the first period as well. Thanks to lockdown defense in the Londonderry goal by senior Kathryn Martin, the team was able to hold onto a 2-1 win. Mack Plaque score: 3-3 tie.

The attention then shifted over to the varsity field for the first of back to back soccer games, starting off with girls’ soccer at 1 p.m. By the end of the first half, the game was in a tight 1-1 tie, with exceptional work from seniors Amanda Fawcett and Olivia MacDonnell. However, the Astros were able to score in the middle of the second half, and the Lancers ended up falling with a 2-3 loss. Mack Plaque score: 4-3 Pinkerton.

All hope was not lost yet. Boys soccer took the field at 3 p.m. If the boys pulled out a win, Mack Plaque weekend would end in a 4-4 tie, and all eyes would look to the cheer squad in November as the tie-breaker. The first half was spent neck and neck between the two teams, with performances highlighted by junior Jackson Lewis and junior keeper Jason Reilly. 

The boys found a fire within themselves for the second half, playing with grit and drive to beat

Seniors Spencer Brassard (front), Brady Joncas (center), and Cristian Levantovski-Correa (back) push hard against the Astros’ offense. (Christine O’Loughlin)

the Astros, with senior captains Brady Joncas and Cristian Levantovski-Correa playing exceptionally well. However, the highlight of the game came from late in the second half, when sophomore Brett McKinnon scored, tying the game at one-a-piece. This late score would then send the game into double overtime–and still resulted in the game ending with a 1-1 tie.

So, what does this mean for the Mack Plaque score?

Did Pinkerton hold onto the Plaque for another year? Did LHS pull off the 0-3 deficit, making the greatest comebacks in the history of sports? Does it all wash clean? Does it even matter?

Here’s where it gets complicated.

Mathematically, the plaque cannot return to Lancer Nation this year. As it stands, the Mack Plaque score is 4-3-1 in favor of the Astros. There still remains only one event, the Fall Spirit Championships in November. So although we cannot take the plaque this year, there still stands a chance for Pinkerton to also not take it back. If the Lancers beat the Astros in a couple short months from now, the 2022 Mack Plaque rivalry will end without a winner.

This confusing ending to a well honored and respected tradition cannot discredit the hard work from all of our fall athletes this past year. Lancer Nation is proud of all you’ve accomplished so far, and we cannot wait to keep cheering you all on for the rest of the season!