BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Dennis-Yarmouth’s 40-plus-point performance in Tuesday night’s Division 2A football semifinal was no surprise. The Dolphins flexed their muscles again in a 46-20 thrashing of Bay State Herget champion Walpole. It was just another dominant performance from one of the state’s most vaunted units this season.
However, what made the Dolphins’ performance so complete was their defensive effort.
In the first half, the Rebels (9-3) didn’t pass midfield and D-Y (12-0) out-gained Walpole 286 yards to 68. Dolphins senior quarterback Matt Montalto accounted for more than half of D-Y’s output, with 187 all-purpose yards through 20 minutes, nearly tripling the Rebels’ tally by himself.
Montalto, along with weapons Dylan Hodsdon, Damion Johnson and running back Joe Furness, again showed why D-Y’s offense has been so potent.
But it takes a village to make truly dominant team. The combination has lifted the Dolphins to their first Super Bowl appearance in program history, which will come Saturday versus Wakefield at Bentley University.
“The defense has been good all year,” Dolphins head coach Paul Funk said. “Everybody talks about the offense, and this and that, and it’s pretty good. But our defense holds its own.”
The Dolphins got a key defensive contribution early from one of their offensive stars.
Already with a 20-6 lead in tow with less than a minute remaining in the second, Hodsdon stepped in front of a Tom Donnellan pass and provided the Dolphins one more chance to score before the half.
“I saw him cut to the outside and then right when he threw it [the receiver] cut back inside,” Hodsdon said. “It was just easy pickings.”
After plucking the interception, two plays later, Hodsdon was on the receiving end of a 14-yard touchdown pass from Montalto, giving D-Y a 27-6 lead at the break.
“Dylan’s played a lot of football for me, he was starting both ways as a sophomore,” Funk said. “He’s had a million good games. This is just a regular game for Dylan and he was great today.”
Of course, the same could be said about the Dolphins quarterback, who was his usual self in throwing for three touchdowns (187 yards) while running for two more.
Montalto expressed the Dolphins’ cool demeanor leading up to Tuesday night’s game. It was a stark departure from last year when the program made its first playoff appearance. Nerves got the better of them that time.
A year wiser, D-Y’s now on the precipice of something greater.
“Last year, you could tell we were pretty nervous and we played nervous,” Montalto said of D-Y’s loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Duxbury last year. “Coming into today, we knew it was a playoff game, we knew we had to step up, but it was more relaxed … We knew we had some unfinished business from last year, that’s our motto. We wanted to get to the Super Bowl and now we’re there.”
Walpole (9-3) – 0 6 8 6 -- 20
D-Y (12-0) – 0 27 12 7 -- 46
D-Y – Matt Montalto 1-yard run (John Terrio kick)
W – Brad Webber 70-yard kickoff return (Kick failed)
D-Y – Dylan Hodsdon 28-yard pass from Montalto (Kick failed)
D-Y – Damion Johnson 32-yard pass from Montalto (Terrio kick)
D-Y – Hodsdon 22-yard pass from Montalto (Terrio kick)
D-Y – Montalto 17-yard run (2-pt failed)
W – Steve Thulin 14-yard run (2-pt rush)
D-Y – Joe Furness 1-yard run (2-pt failed)
D-Y – Furness 2-yard run (Terrio kick)
W – Craig Hanley 5- yard run (2-pt failed)