New England Football League Bandits & Nor’easter Split Their Back-2-Back Games in Oldest NEFL Rivalry | New England Football League
New England Football League

Bandits & Nor’easter Split Their Back-2-Back Games in Oldest NEFL Rivalry

LOWELL, MA – The oldest and longest rivalry in the New England Football League took a new twist this year with the Boston Bandits and Lowell Nor’easter playing in back to back games for the first time. The two games lived up to the great tradition.

In the first game, the Bandits spotted Lowell the early lead on two first quarter turnovers. Lowell capitalized quickly when Kiel Canada threw touchdown passes to George Urena and Cristian Reyes for a 14-0 advantage. The Bandits regrouped and tied the game in the second quarter when Clarzell Pearl threw a pair of touchdown passes of his own to Nate Gooden and Junior Brown. The game did not remain tied long as Canada again found Reyes uncovered for a 68 yard touchdown pass down the sideline for a 21-14 lead seconds before the half. The Bandits tied the game in the fourth quarter when ‘Dre Williams returned a punt 70 yards. The Nor’easter won the overtime coin toss and marched down the field and scored the winning touchdown on a 2 yard dive by Joe Harris and a 27-21 victory.

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Lowell’s Joe Harris carries during the Week 4 game in Boston.

In the rematch, each team’s defense stepped up their game, making points scarce. The Bandits’ lone score came on a 75 yard screen pass from Pearl to ‘Dre Williams in the second quarter. The Bandits ended a Lowell threat when Fred Ellis intercepted a Canada pass in the endzone. Poor punts plagued the Bandits in the second half allowing the Nor’easter multiple opportunities in Bandit territory. Lowell missed a 29 yard field goal but was given a reprieve as the Bandits were ruled off sides. Richie Grasso hit the 24 yard second attempt making the score 7-3. The Nor’easter would have an opportunity to win the game with seconds to go but a 4th down run by Canada, but came up inches short in a controversial call.

Week 5 Recap - Bandits at NoreasterA
Boston’s Andre Williams on his way to score the game’s only touchdown during the Week 5 game in Lowell

The Bandits and Nor’easter have played 28 times since 1999 and are knotted at 14-14 in the head to head series. Both teams are headed towards a possible tie breaking game in the playoffs.

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Lowell’s Kiel Canada leaps over a Bandit during the Week 5 game in Lowell.

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