Everyone wearing maroon and white on Friday, September 6, will forever remember the first game ever played at the new Falmouth High School All-Purpose Stadium. The game would have been unforgettable even without the historic ramifications, with the remnants of Hurricane Dorian beginning to unload on Cape Cod right about the time the first kickoff was ever delivered by Falmouth’s Cam Rowell.
There were a lot of firsts in the Clippers’ game against an overmatched Dartmouth High School team. Kyle Connolly ran for the first touchdown. Dre Cain Williams had the first touchdown reception. Most importantly, Falmouth scored a victory in their first game in their new digs.
“I was really impressed with how physical and tough some of our young kids played,” Head Coach Derek Almeida said. “We’ve got some kids that are learning the game... I liked the toughness that we played with, it was our style of football.”
Connolly ran for two touchdowns and 165-yards and threw a scoring pass in the game. Rowell rumbled for two touchdowns of over 30-yards as Falmouth rolled to a 35-14 victory over the Indians to open the year up on a high note.
Falmouth’s defense had two first half takeaways, which helped them to run to an early lead. A Julien Hendricks interception on the game’s first possession by Dartmouth preceded a Connolly TD run midway through the opening period.
Falmouth then came up with another takeaway in the second quarter to helped them go up by two scores. Taking the ball at the DHS 19, Falmouth got down to near the goal before a penalty took them all the way back to the 20. On third and goal from that spot, though, Connolly tossed a post pattern pass down the middle for first-year varsity player Dre Cain Williams, who leaped into the rain drops and brought down the football for his first high school touchdown and a 14-0 Falmouth lead with 8:51 left to play in the half.
Dartmouth answered back to cut it to a single score game, but the Clippers got that one back in short order. Connolly converted a big fourth-and-one run to keep that drive alive, Williams broke a 30-yard run and the Clippers capped off the drive when Connolly broke loose for a 36-yard touchdown run that made it a 21-7 score with 3:05 to play in the half.
In the second half Falmouth added two more scores, both by Cam Rowell. The Clippers’ versatile offensive weapon broke scoring runs of 36- and 33-yards after the break as Falmouth wrapped up their first win of the year.
Next up for Falmouth is a trip to Somerville High School on Saturday, September 14. Not only will FHS be going on a long road trip for this one, but they’ll also have an early wake-up call as the game will kick off at 11 AM in the Boston suburbs.
SHS will be playing their first game of the season and the Highlanders will be trying to run the Clippers out of the building with a no-huddle offense that attempts to push the pace. With a couple of quality athletes at the skill positions, Somerville will try to wear down Falmouth over the course of the game.
“Their tempo on offense (is a concern),” he said. “Unfortunately we have not seen a no-huddle team yet, and they want to play really fast. Can we communicate and get lined up so that we are in good positions and are ready at the snap?”
Coach Derek Almeida said that staying fresh, and calm, will be paramount to a victory. If his defense is able to make plays and get the offense on the field they should be able to reverse tactics on the Highlanders and make the home team have a long day.
“I think that when we are at our best, we are no-huddle and playing fast regardless of the opponent,” he said. “But, we need to be careful with our two-way players.”
Somerville went 0-4 against Division 5 opponents last year. The team finished the 2018 season at 4-7 overall.