Football misses playoffs despite win over Marlborough in historic season


Joe Lamburn

Senior Elijah Khasabo hugs his teammate after the football team defeated Marlborough 14-12 in their last home game of the season.

Andrew Roberts, Online Sports Editor

The football team was excluded from the 16-team statewide playoff bracket despite winning a close game over Marlborough 14-12 on Friday, Oct. 22. 

Sophomore running back Paul Ramos played a large role in leading the team to victory, taking 25 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored a two-point conversion, so he was responsible for all 14 of the team’s points.

“[Ramos] really pushes himself everyday, pushes others, and we’re glad to have him,” senior captain Joe Scangas said. “He’s a tough runner, will not go down easily and will not complain.”

A strong group of tight ends (or tight end room) led by Scangas has opened doors for the team’s run game, helping Ramos and other running backs succeed. While Scangas has recently been out with a concussion, the tight ends have continued to play an important role on this team.

“I feel that [the tight end room] truly is [the best room on our team],” Scangas said. “With me being out the last two weeks, we had the two other seniors, Michael Bonaldo and Nick DeSouza, really step up. It’s a crucial part to our run game.”

Despite the tight end room’s strong performance, Scangas believes it’s the team’s improvement on defense that has led them to success throughout the season.

“I think the reason that we won and have been winning is because our defense has been the best I’ve ever seen it be,” Scangas said. 

In the Marlborough win, Algonquin’s defense was unstoppable throughout the second half. Marlborough senior running back Miguel Borges scored both of Marlborough’s touchdowns in the first half and made it a close game. In the second half, Marlborough posted some strong drives, but junior Jovon Mobley and senior Shane Stevens each intercepted junior quarterback Jason Knollenberg of Marlborough. 

Ramos gave a shoutout to fellow sophomore Brian Toussaint, who has also been a defensive standout.

“Toussaint is a sophomore, and he’s done really well,” Ramos said. “He’s leading the defense in tackles as a sophomore.”

After defeating Marlborough, the team was 6-1 with hopes of making the playoffs. However, a 21-7 loss to Wachusett caused them to miss the cut.

“Being [in the same division] with all these private schools and all these Eastern Mass teams, they were heavily favored in my opinion,” Scangas said. “Being a Central Mass team, we had to fight our way to get into the playoffs, and having a weaker schedule compared to these top teams really put us at a disadvantage.”

The team moved up to Division 2 prior to the season as part of the MIAA’s realignment. had Algonquin ranked as #11 in the division headed into the playoffs, but the MIAA’s ranking system had them outside the top 16 due to a heavier weight on strength of victory. 

The team, now with a record of 7-2 after a 28-7 victory on Friday, Nov. 5 in a non-playoff rematch with Nashoba, has clinched their first winning record since their 2016 championship winning season. 

“When we heard about [missing the playoffs], we were all disappointed,” Ramos said. “Now we just want to win the last two games and finish 9-2.”

Ramos also feels the future for the team is bright.

“I think we’re going to be really good next year,” Ramos said. “We have a lot of kids who are still going to be here.”

The team will wrap up their season with their Thanksgiving rivalry game in Westborough.