The Upper Cape Tech football team has championship aspirations. A season after feeling like their shot at a title was cut short in the Division 8 South Sectional semifinals, the Rams are ready to show 2018 was no fluke.
Facing Bourne in their Week 1 road opener on Friday, September 6, UCT took the first step in the path to a state title — scoring a 27-6 victory.
The offense racked up more than 300 yards of offense while the defense didn’t allow a touchdown to the host Canalmen, but its grizzled head coach Ken Owen’s penchant for perfection that should carry the Rams a long way.
“I’m not happy with our penalty situation,” Owen said following the rainy and wind-filled game. “That was ridiculous. We were very undisciplined. We have to tighten that up or we’re not going to win big games.”
As much as UCT was able to move forward against a rather impressive Bourne defense, the Rams were regularly called for penalties that stalled drives or forced the offense to work harder than it should have. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop senior tailbacks Kemrin Glover and Juzary Salim from each totaling 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in the win.
Glover rushed the ball 12 times for 100 yards and scored the team’s first touchdown of the season — on a 12-yard run to the outside — that gave UCT a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter. Salim did most of his damage in the second half, accumulating 121 rushing yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. He ran the ball 17 times for 99 yards in the second half alone.
Despite the efficiency running the ball, UCT only led 7-0 at halftime against Bourne, which entered the game having won the previous two meetings. Light on numbers this season, the Bourne defense returned seven starters and the unit played like it for the most part. Led by linebackers Nick Santucci and Justin McHugh, the Canalmen defense kept Bourne in the game for as long as they could.
Offensively, however, Bourne struggled. With a revamped offensive line and a new starting quarterback in junior Shawn McDonough, the Canalmen had difficulties getting off plays as McDonough was consistently under duress. UCT linemen Ronaldo Malcolm and Richard Hagopian regularly set up shop in the Canalmen backfield, racking up multiple tackles for loss in the process.
UCT doubled its advantage on the first drive in the second half, needing only six plays to go 65 yards before Salim rumbled up the middle for a three-yard score to take a 14-0 lead. The touchdown was set up by a 46 yard run to the Canalmen three-yard line by Glover.
“The two runners played really well tonight,” Owen said. “And Drew [Brightman] was Drew. We moved him all over the place. And he catches everything.”
When the Rams weren’t running wild on the hosts, junior quarterback Thomas Zine was hooking up with his go-to target, Brightman, a senior captain. Zine completed 5-of-12 passes, all to Brightman, for 72 yards. An athletic player, Brightman was moved all over the field, seeing time at running back and even scored on a fake punt in the fourth quarter from 34 yards out. That score capped a 17-play drive that began with seven seconds left in the third and chewed up 7:59 of game time.
Shawn DiCarlo, a team captain, was credited by Owen for his standout play on defense as well as his fourth-quarter rushing touchdown.
The Canalmen’s lone score came with three seconds left in the game when senior tailback/kick return Jaimon Scott returned a kick 80 yards up the middle, showing off his blazing speed, to house as time expired.
UCT (1-0, 0-0 MAC) is off until Saturday, September 21, when they travel to Southeastern. Bourne (0-1, 0-0 SCC) is also off this week and they return on Friday, September 20, against Wareham at Spillane Field at 4:45 PM.