DARTMOUTH, Mass. -– The Dartmouth High marching band knocked the crowd dead with its halftime performance titled “Blown Away.” However, it was the top-ranked Barnstable Red Raiders who ended up blowing away the host Indians, 35-6, last night in the Old Colony League opener for both teams.
“It was a balanced effort on both sides of the ball,” Barnstable coach Chris Whidden said. “We were able to run the ball and throw the ball which we’ve had trouble doing both. Defensively we did a good job defending the run and the pass, and I think we’re a tough team to match up against when we do both.”
The Red Raiders scored early in the first quarter and never looked back. Senior quarterback Nick Peabody threw the first of his two touchdowns in the waning moments of the period to senior Manny Perry from 27 yards out to put the Red Raiders up 14 at quarter time.
Peabody had another solid game for Barnstable going 14-29 for 241 yards and a pair of scores. He added 32 more yards and another touchdown on the ground.
Whidden said he was impressed with how Peabody handled the game and managed the lead in the second half.
“Nick played a really smart second half for us,” Whidden said. “There’s times when he knows his ability and the ability of his teammates and he’s trying to get that big play, but he played a really intelligent second half and it showed in the time of possession”
The Red Raiders were able to hold the ball for over 13 minutes in the second half.
For the Indians, it was yet another defeat against one of the state’s best. Dartmouth played well, but was overmatched by Barnstable’s size and experience.
“On paper it doesn’t look so good, but we scheduled some tough ones because we knew that going into this year to beat these two teams, Bridgewater [-Raynham] and Barnstable, that’s why we scheduled the non-league games that we did,” Dartmouth coach Richard White said. “We had to be ready to prepare ourselves.”
The much younger Indians did get strong performances out of their two backfield workhorses, junior Tim Smith and sophomore Dalton Soares.
Smith shoulder the bulk of the carries for the Indians and Soares was able to get in solid work under center when the Red Raider defense didn’t break through the line. The highlight was Soares’ 21-yard touchdown strike in the fourth quarter to junior Nick Simonetti that ended the shutout.
Simonetti outjumped a Barnstable defender to make the catch.
“We knew what we were facing when we came in so we’ve got to build off this,” White said. “We’ve got a big rival in New Bedford coming to town so we’re going to get ready for them.”
Despite another strong performance Whidden stressed that his team has much to accomplish if it wants to call this season a success.
“None of our goals have been accomplished,” Whidden said. “We’re in a three-team league and we’re 1-0 in the league so that’s all that matters to us at this point.”
RECEIVERS SHINE FOR RED RAIDERS
Senior Tedaro France had a monster game for the Red Raiders, with four catches for 128 yards -- including a brilliant 78-yard score early in the second quarter to put Barnstable up 21-0. Peabody hit France on the run 45 yards downfield before the speedy receiver outran a pair of Indians defenders and spun another completely around before scoring.
France added an interception in the third quarter that set up a touchdown.
“We got it going on early in the first quarter,” France said. “We knew we could win the game so you have to do everything you can to win the game. I did a post corner; I was open. Ran down the field, saw [the defender’s] eyes looking forward, so I cut back in the middle.”
Perry finished with 35 yards on top of his touchdown, and fellow senior Dylan Morris reeled in a three catches for 32 yards of his own. With weapons like this there’s no wonder why the triumvirate wears the numbers one (Perry), two (Morris), and three (France).
Whidden said that having so many weapons on the field at once makes it difficult for defenses to prepare.
“That’s tough to defend,” Whidden said. “The immediate threat you think of is Dylan because he can a 95-yard score on every play. If the coverage softens up you have Manny and Tedaro underneath and there’s just so many options we have in the passing game that it’s tough to defend all of them.”
France said that playing together with his teammates for nearly a decade has helped him and everyone else jell and succeed on the field.
“We’ve been playing together since we were all eight,” France said. “We know each other. We know what we do. We know we can win.”