Turkey Tastes Better In Hyannis Again This Year After Red Raiders Thump Clippers 46-14
By: Tom Moran Jr.
After two days of too many off-field distractions, the Barnstable High football team got back to the business of football and christened the revamped W. Leo Shields Field by thumping archrival Falmouth 46-14 under chilly Thanksgiving Day skies.
With BHS head coach Doug Crook and senior running back Dennis Reddy both serving suspensions that kept them out of the holiday clash with the Clippers, the Red Raiders scored 19 unanswered points to open the second half and cruised to the victory that gave them a regular season record of 7-4 and a 41-39-4 Thanksgiving Day record.
Although the Clippers went into the game as a decided underdog, they gave their hosts all they could handle and more in a first half that saw both defenses make the most of the big plays.
The Red Raiders won the coin toss and then needed just a little bit more than a minute to take a lead they would maintain until the final whistle.
After Bo Woolfork gave Barnstable great field position with a 26-yard return of the opening kickoff, quarterback Doug Crook Jr. led the six-play, 68-yard touchdown drive. After connecting with wideout Jason Carlino for an 18-yard pickup and then fellow wideout Matt Delaney for a gain of 25 yards, Crook finished the drive himself with runs of 22 and three yards with Tom Mullen booting the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 1:04 gone in the game.
The Falmouth defense made the first big play, an interception by Matt Dineen at the Clipper 29, to blunt Barnstable’s next offensive set but Falmouth’s offense made the next big play when a bad snap from center on Clipper punt attempt gave the ball back to the Red Raiders at the FHS 16.
Five plays later, running back Theo France went in from five yards out for the first of his two touchdowns on the day and Mullen converted the PAT to push the Red Raiders’ lead to 14-0 with exactly six minutes left in the first quarter.
The Barnstable defense made the next big play as safety Dave Kennedy’s over-the-head diving interception of a pass by Falmouth QB Dillon Mansfield kept the visitors away from the BHS end zone but the Clippers used an interception not long after by linebacker Alex Sodekson to begin their first scoring drive.
Running back Bobby Whelan did most of the heavy lifting, rushing the ball to the Barnstable six-yard line before Mansfield fired to wideout Devon Soares for the touchdown. Soares made a nice diving catch for the score and Tyrone Reine’s kick trimmed the Barnstable lead to 14-7 with 8:30 left in the half.
Jordan Henderson’s 28-yard kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff put this team in great shape and the Red Raiders didn’t need much time to regain their two-touchdown edge.
Henderson turned a receiver screen into a 30-yard gain, Crook picked up another dozen yards on a keeper and then hooked up with Delaney on the 18-yard touchdown pass.
Delaney had as much to do with the touchdown as Crook as the senior co-captain went over two Falmouth defenders to pull in the bullet toss. Mullen made it three-for three to make it a 21-7 game at the 7:13-mark.
The Clipper answered with their best drive of the game, almost. After starting deep in their own territory, the Clippers drove to the Barnstable 25 but no farther as another sparkling defensive play by Kennedy and defensive gems by Ryan Litchman, Nolan Hickey and Jason Frieh forced the visitors to turn the ball over on downs.
The Clippers got one more shot at the BHS end zone in the final minute of the half when running back Jonah Olsen went 34 yards to the Barnstable 10 but time ran out on Falmouth before its offense could get off a final play.
The Red Raiders went for the jugular on the first play of the second half and came up with the onside kick that pretty much sealed the Clippers’ fate.
Receptions of 22 and eight yards by Delaney put the ball in the shadow of the Falmouth goal posts and Crook and Henderson teamed up to end the seven-play, 51-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass. Mullen remained perfect and the BHS lead was 28-7 less than two minute into the third quarter.
The Clippers gambled and lost when they came up short on a fourth-and-inches rush at their own 40-yard line and the Red Raiders cashed in when France found the end zone again, this time from three yards out to extend the Barnstable lead to 34-7 with 5:41 left in the quarter.
It was déjà vu all over again for the Clippers as another defensive highlight by Kennedy, this one a diving stop of a pass intended for Reid, forced the Falmouth offense to turn the ball over on downs on their next possession.
This time the Red Raiders needed just one play to get into the end zone as Delaney took a pitch from Crook on what looked to be an end-around but instead pulled up and lofted a strike to Carlino, who made the catch at the FHS five and vaulted past two Clippers and into the end zone.
The Clippers showed they had some substance to their game when they answered the Barnstable score with one of their own. Running back Alex Carbone got the ball close by banging out some tough yards through the middle of the Barnstable defense before Mansfield capped the 62-yard drive with his 11-yard touchdown scamper.
Mansfield’s TD cut the Barnstable lead to 40-14 as the fourth quarter got underway but the Red Raiders dispelled any thoughts of a miracle comeback when senior running back Mark Thompson bulled his way into the end zone on a one-yard carry to push the score to its final 46-14 margin.
France was the workhorse on the drive, rushing for 59 of the 63 yards covered.
Kyle Rood provided the final BHS defensive highlight, recovering a fumble by Olsen at the BHS 25 that then allowed his offense to run out the game clock.
Joining Kennedy to lead what was a great defensive finale for the Red Raiders in 2010 were defensive lineman Aurelio Dimuzio, Josiah Dulak , Connor Rood and Jason Frieh and linebackers Andrew Ellis, Brian Hardy, Terence Mudie and Sam Holway.
The Red Raiders also got stellar efforts on the offensive line from Allen Buckley, Jake Karras, Ben Pogue, Tom Grimmer and Cameron Crocker.
After the game, defensive coordinator and Acting Head Coach Chris Whidden, who stepped into Crook’s role after the head coach was suspended for inappropriately addressing members of his team this week, seemed to distance himself and the Raiders from Crook Sr. When asked if the squad had stepped up to honor their missing coach, Whidden sidestepped the issue.
“The kids won it for the kids. The kids played hard because they love themselves as a team. That was the point I was making, it was their day, it was all about them," he said.
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