The biggest game of the year featured plenty of huge plays, most of which were made by Barnstable in the first half. In a contest in which every touchdown that the visitors scored traveled at least 24-yards, and three were of 65-yards or more, Barnstable dominated in their first appearance at the new Falmouth High School All-Purpose Field with a 47-14 Thanksgiving Day win.
Jadaro France produced three of those highlight reel TD’s, the first three of the day for BHS. France scored on a 67-yard run, an 87-yard kickoff return and then a 65-yard reception from quarterback Nick Wilson to help put his team in the driver’s seat. With the lead intact, the big Barnstable lines leaned on Falmouth and owned the line of scrimmage in both directions for the remainder of the day as the game was never in doubt after midway through the second quarter.
Barnstable’s victory put an end to a four-year winning streak by the Clippers. FHS still holds the lead in the all-time series, 63-61-8, although BHS now leads on Thanksgiving Day, 45-43-4.
“They’re bigger, stronger, their backs are a little quicker than ours. They were better, a better team,” FHS head coach Derek Almeida said. “They’re doing a nice job over there. They’re working hard, it seems like they’re doing things the right way. They were ready to play. If we make a couple of more plays in the first...we had some things drawn up, and we executed, but they closed on them.”
Those quick Red Raiders flew around the field from the start of the game. Falmouth had some chances early on, but were unable to capitalize on their momentum. The team’s only stop defensively came on the first series of the game. Cam Rowell broke through for a sack on the game’s first play, and BHS failed on a fourth-and-six conversion attempt from their own 36 a few plays later. Despite the short field, though, Falmouth came up empty and handed the ball back to the Raiders at the 35 four plays later.
From that point forward Barnstable’s offense proved unstoppable. France gave his team the lead with 6:18 left to go in the first by getting to the edge on a run to the left and breaking free for a 67-yard TD to open the scoring. A Brian Frieh run made it 8-0.
FHS answered with a rock-solid drive that saw Kyle Connolly, who ran for 130-yards in the game and two touchdowns, find paydirt from 13-yards out to make it 8-6.
Any momentum that the Clippers were feeling dissipated quickly after that play. First, France ran back the ensuing kickoff 87-yards to the house and another Frieh conversion run made it 16-6. Falmouth then drove all the way down to the Barnstable nine and appeared to close the gap to four points on another run by Connolly, but an illegal blocking penalty and accompanying 15-yard penalty not only wiped the touchdown off the board, but also pushed the Clippers back to the 24-yard line. On the next play Connolly tried to go down the seam for Sam Cavossa, but the ball was intercepted by Barnstable at the four-yard line.
Almeida said that series of plays was pivotal.
“We’re not a good enough offensively to make up ground like that,” he said. “We have to be that plodding team...they hit us on some vertical stuff (after that). We did a decent job against their base offense, but they have a lot of other wrinkles that they can go to and they did a nice job executing that stuff.”
BHS worked the ball out of the shadow of the goal line before once again getting a huge play from France, this one a back-breaker. Wilson lined a gorgeous throw up the right side for the playmaker, who caught the ball in-stride and sprinted for a 65-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion run by Colin Marczely increased the lead to 24-6 for BHS with 5:55 left in the first half. After another defensive stop, BHS put the game away by scoring one more time before the intermission. Wilson ran the ball in from the two and Marczely added the conversion, giving the visitors a 26-point halftime lead, 32-6.
The game was never close in the second half. Connolly scored another TD, the last of his 28 for the season, midway through the fourth quarter. He finished his career with eight rushing touchdowns, and nine total, against the Raiders. With his 130-yards he accumulated 692 rushing yards in three Thanksgiving games versus his team’s rivals.