When it was all said and done, the Upper Cape Tech football team knew they had just played an instant classic in the newest installment of its rivalry with Mayflower Athletic Conference rival Old Colony.
Visiting the Cougars in Rochester on Saturday, November 2, for a Division 8 South first round showdown, the Rams came back from deficits of six and seven point only for Old Colony to pull off a last-minute drive for the game-winning score to steal a second victory from the Rams in three weeks, 22-21.
Senior Andrew Brightman, playing under center for the Rams at quarterback, had just capped an eight-play, 55-yard drive with a 20-yard bootleg scramble to the end zone to give UCT a 21-14 lead with 4:57 left in the game. It marked the second-straight offensive possession that Brightman produced a score while the Cougars coughed the ball up for the third time of the game.
Needing a score, Old Colony rattled off a 10-play, 55-yard drive with a sense of urgency, tiring out the Rams’ defense with a hurry-up offense. The Cougars converted two third downs, including a third-and-goal from the three-yard line that produced the game-winning touchdown run from Thomas Stanton. Senior Blake Dennison, who amassed 134 yards, rushed in the go-ahead two-point conversion with 1:55 left.
Upper Cape marched across midfield to the Cougar’s 40-yard line, but the drive stalled out and so did the Rams’ season.
Brightman carried the offense for UCT, as he made his first start this season at the quarterback position. He racked up 87 rushing yards with a TD run, often excelling on bootleg rollout runs to his left. When he was eluding defenders for big gains on the ground, he was connecting with his younger brother for big scores. Trailing 6-0 in the first quarter, Brightman bounced around the pocket before rolling out to his left and hitting a wide-open Jon Brightman for a 48-yard touchdown on third-and-seven. The elder Brightman rushed in the two-point try to take the lead back, 8-6. Then, in the fourth quarter, trailing 14-8, the two Brightman’s linked up to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 34-yard touchdown catch on yet another broken, backyard-style play. That gave UCT a 21-14 lead with 10:47 left in the game.
Despite the inspired play from Andrew Brightman, the Rams struggled to put anything else together offensively. Their two top running backs, seniors Juzary Salim and Kemrin Glover, were held in check by Old Colony for the entire game as the duo combined for 46 total yards. But the defense found a knack for coming up with loose balls to help the stalling Rams’ offense. Salim recovered a first-quarter fumble from Old Colony and forced a fourth-quarter fumble that was recovered by Declan McAfee.
UCT also recovered a fumble early in the second quarter, but could only convert the third turnover into points.
This is Old Colony’s second win at home against the Rams this season, after storming back from a 16-0 halftime deficit to win 23-16 on October 19. The win also avenged last season’s 17-7 home first-round playoff loss to UCT.
KEY PLAY: Following Brightman’s third total touchdown on the afternoon, a 20-yard run, that put UCT up 21-14 with less than five minutes remaining, the Rams opted for the two-point attempt. The Cougars stopped UCT just short of the goal line on the play and marched down the field for their necessary eight-points to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
NUMBER TO KNOW: 26:53 — The amount of time Old Colony controlled the ball on offense, including 9:27 in the 12-minute first quarter. In total the Cougars had four drives of 10 or more plays, three of them resulted in scores — including their first and last touchdowns of the day.
ENTERPRISE SPORTS PLAYER OF THE GAME: Blake Dennison, RB, Old Colony — The senior running back had the brunt of the carries and carried his team away from a first-round home upset to the Rams. Dennison had a hand in all three touchdowns, scoring the first and adding two-point runs in the other two, in addition to his game-high 134 rushing yards.
UP NEXT: The Rams (4-4) move into the the non-playoff pool for the remaining two weeks on the season. They will play host to St. John Paul II (2-6) on Saturday, November 9 at noon. The Lions have lost three straight games, including a 37-0 shutout to Martha’s Vineyard. It was SJPII’s third shutout loss on the season. Old Colony (6-1) advances to the Division 8 South quarterfinals to host third-seeded South Shore Voc-Tech (5-3) on Saturday, November 9 at 1 PM. The Vikings outlasted sixth-seeded Blue Hills in double overtime, 42-36, in their first round matchup.
Upper Cape — 8;0;0;13 — 21
Old Colony — 6;0;8;8 — 22
4:25 — Blake Dennison (OC) 5-yard run (kick failed)
3:15 — Jon Brightman (U) 48-yard catch from Andrew Brightman (Andrew Brightman run)
5:55 — Matt Bumpus (OC) 2-yard run (Dennison run)
10:57 — Brightman (U) 34-yard catch from Brightman (Ronaldo Malcolm kick)
5:07 — Brightman (U) 20-yard run (run failed)
1:55 — Thomas Stanton (OC) 3-yard run (Dennison run)
Rushing — Andrew Brightman (U) 19 attempts, 87 yards, 1 TD; Juzary Salim (U) 6 attempts, 11 yards; Kemrin Glover (U) 4 attempts, 5 yards; Blake Dennison (OC) 27 attempts, 134 yards, 1 TD; Thomas Stanton (OC) 10 attempts, 57 yards, 1 TD; Matt Bumpus (OC) 9 attempts, 75 yards, 1 TD; Phil Proctor (OC) 3 attempts, 1 yards; Kyle Scholz (OC) 1 attempt, 2 yards; Jarret Taylor (OC) 2 attempts, 10 yards.
Passing — Andrew Brightman (U) 4-for-13, 109 yards, 2 TD; Matt Bumpus (OC) 4-for-7, 32 yards.
Receiving — Jon Brightman (U) 2 receptions, 82 yards, 2 TDs; Kemrin Glover (U) 1 reception, 21 yards, Juzary Salim (U) 1 reception, 9 yards; Jarret Taylor (OC) 2 receptions, 23 yards; Kyle Scholz (OC) 1 reception, 2 yards; Kraig Pratt (OC) 1 reception, 7 yards