It may not have been the start the Reading High School football team was looking for. But it certainly was the result the Rockets had in mind.
Despite falling behind 14-0 in the first half of its season-opener on Friday night, perennial powerhouse Reading stormed back to win 22-21 in Dracut.
“It was clear after watching the first half which team had a game under its belt,” said Rockets head coach John Fiore, whose charges enter the season with state championship hopes. “That’s not an excuse, it’s a reality. Every high school team has to work through that. Luckily we were able to work through that and finish strong.”
After a Reading punt with just over a minute to go, Dracut took possession and drove into Rocket territory as the seconds ticked down. With three seconds left, Fiore could only watch as upset-minded Dracut lined up for a potential game-winning 39-yard field goal.
Luckily for the Rockets, the kick fell short, and the locals escaped with the victory and a 1-0 start to the season.
Quarterback Drew Belcher led the way for Reading as he has for several years. On Friday night he notched two touchdowns and about 80 yards of offense.
Next up for the Rockets is the team’s home opener on Friday night. Kickoff comes at 7 p.m. versus Arlington.
“We made mistakes and we need to improve on them,” said Fiore. “But I’m really happy with how things went in the second half. The kids came out at halftime really focused. There was no panic, and no quit. I’m really happy with the way they responded.”