With the coveted Golden Wrench on the line, the Upper Cape Tech football team will look to end its 2019 campaign on a high note against Cape Tech.
The season began with much promise as UCT returned more than 20 seniors to a program that reached the Division 8 South semifinals a year ago. But with a target freshly painted on their backs, the Rams received every opponent’s best shot. They’d win a couple and follow that up with a few tough losses.
Unable to string wins together for an extended period of time, UCT still earned a seventh seed in the Division 8 South playoffs this season, but fell in the first round to Mayflower Athletic Conference rival Old Colony, 22-21, in an instant classic. They responded with a 30-6 home shellacking of St. John Paul II a week later, but failed show up in a revenge home game against Coyle-Cassidy—the team that ousted the Rams from last season’s postseason.
The Warriors cruised to a 31-0 shutout against Upper Cape, meaning the Rams have one last game to show some fight and finish the year above the .500 mark. Add in a two-game Thanksgiving Day losing streak to the Crusaders and the Rams have all the incentive they needed to play with purpose and pride.
UCT earned a 30-0 home shutout against Cape Tech earlier this season on October 26. With the win, the Rams earned their place in the playoffs, thanks, in part, to senior running back Juzary Salim’s 172-yard, two-touchdown performance. Senior Andrew Brightman rushed for 100 yards as well, sparked by a 90-yard touchdown run, while classmate Kemrin Glover also added a rushing score.
Don’t be fooled by UCT’s 5-5 record, though; the team is loaded with playmakers on both sides of the ball. Since Brightman was inserted under center, he’s been an elusive big-play machine for the Rams. He has a penchant for evading the clutches of defenders, extending plays and ripping off big yardage whether through the air or on the ground.
Cape Tech (3-7) has played well in recent weeks, winning two of its three non-playoff games heading into the game with the Rams. The Crusaders are coming off a home win against Atlantis Charter, 28-7, and a road win against Holbrook/Avon, 28-14. Prior to that, Cape Tech lost seven straight games after opening the season with a 30-28 win against Bristol-Plymouth.
Despite a losing record over the last two seasons, playing UCT on Thanksgiving seems to bring out the best in the Crusaders. They’ve won the last two battles for the Golden Wrench, including last season’s 6-0 win in Bourne in a game that featured single-digit temperatures. In 2017, Cape Tech won 30-6 in Harwich. But prior to that the Rams had won five straight Thanksgiving Day meetings with its technical school rival.
The Crusaders won the inaugural end-of-the-year meeting, 37-8, in Harwich against the Rams in their first season breaking away from the Bourne High School co-op football program.
THE PICK: Upper Cape Tech 28, Cape Tech 16—The Rams should come out with a chip on their shoulder after getting beat up by Coyle-Cassidy last week. And with all the seniors on the roster, UCT will be looking to send that graduating class out with a win to remember. The Crusaders and Rams clashed November 28 at 10 AM in Harwich.