Bouncing back from a tough overtime loss in its first game of the season, the Falmouth High School football team handled visiting Nauset on Saturday, March 27, with a commanding effort. Falmouth shut out Nauset in the second half and came up with a late goal line stand to defeat the Warriors by a 20-7 score at Falmouth High.
The Clippers are now 1-1 overall on the season. FHS was scheduled to host Barnstable on Saturday, April 3, for the first of two games with the Raiders, but the game has been postponed with BHS unable to practice this week after the school district was moved to full remote learning.
Against Nauset, quarterback Doug Rose had the best game running the ball of his high school career. The senior carried the rock 17 times and rushed for 147 yards. He also ran for a touchdown in the third quarter. That came on a 17-yard carry.
FHS jumped out to the lead in the first quarter, and used a big trick play late in the first half to take the lead into the intermission. After that the defense dominated for the Clippers, coming up with a number of big plays that nullified a couple of lost fumbles by the offense. The victory was the first career win as head coach for Joe Morency, who is in his rookie season on the bench for FHS.
After turning the Warriors over on downs on their first possession, thanks to a stop at their own 29-yard line, Falmouth went to work and needed just eight plays to break the ice. Julian Hendricks turned in a couple of big plays on the drive, including taking a screen pass 11 yards down to the NHS 33. Rose then broke a 31-yard run to put his team down at the 2, and two plays later Sam Cavossa bowled in for a one-yard TD that put the Clippers ahead. The point-after kick by Gerald Mahoney had FHS on top 7-0.
Nauset fought back to tie the score with a solid drive late in the second quarter. That scoring drive allowed it to knot things up at 7-7, but Falmouth pulled off the game’s biggest highlight before the end of the half to regain the lead.
Starting at its own 36, FHS moved the ball easily over midfield but was in danger of stalling out with a fourth-and-six at the Warriors’ 48-yard line. That’s where coach Morency dug into his bag of tricks and called a halfback option pass. Rose pitched the ball to the right for Dre Cain Williams, who drew the focus of every Nauset defender. Before the Warriors could get to the Falmouth senior he stuck his foot in the ground, planted and launched the ball up the field to a wide-open Taylor Frye. The receiver could have jogged backward into the end zone, as there was not a visiting jersey to be found within 20 yards of him.
Nauset tried to use the final 100 seconds in the second quarter to make something happen, and almost did. The Warriors hit a couple of big plays to get down to the red zone, but Eric Zylinski had his first of two takeaways in the game, intercepting a pass inside the Clippers’ 10 to put an end to that threat. Zylinski would later scoop a fumble in the closing minutes to put a bow on the game.
With the 14-7 halftime lead, Falmouth kept things going and opened up a two-score lead on its first possession of the second half. FHS went 65 yards in seven plays to make it a 20-7 lead. Rose did the bulk of the running on the drive and capped it off with a pretty 17-yard scamper.
“That was pretty big for us, to score at the end of the half and then get the ball back and get a two-for-one scenario,” Morency said. “That gave us a lot of momentum.”
The rest of the way the Falmouth defense won at the line of scrimmage and held its own when the Warriors tried to open things up. NHS made a late charge to try to make it a one-score game and got all the way down to the 2. For the second time in the game, though, a shotgun snap got away and Zylinski scooped it to finish off the win.
Defensively, Morency said that moving to a 4-3 alignment for the game was key for the Clippers. Falmouth stacked the box a bit more than the previous week and got strong outings from its linebacking corps.
With Barnstable unable to play this weekend, Morency said that the team would work toward overall development and improving with its unforeseen bye. The team will next be in action the following weekend with a trip to Dennis-Yarmouth as FHS looks for a little payback after last week’s tough overtime defeat.