HYANNIS, Mass. -– Blink and you might miss it.
That sums up the opening minutes of the Division 2 South matchup between Marshfield and Barnstable.
The Red Raiders scored two touchdowns in the first six plays from scrimmage, and never looked back, going on to knock off Marshfield 48-29.
Junior running back Justus Chaffee set the tone early, breaking out a 49-yard touchdown scamper on the fourth play of the game. Two plays later, senior Hayden Murphy picked off Rams quarterback Jack Masterson and returned it to the house to give the home squad a 14-0 lead less than three minutes in.
“Our starters performed well,” said Barnstable head coach Chris Whidden. “We saw this team before and we were pretty well-prepared and they executed.”
Marshfield had no answer for the Raiders duo of Chaffee and Murphy. The two combined for 339 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns. And they owe it all to their offensive line that had their way to the Marshfield front four.
“Our line dominated from the first snap,” said Murphy. “We were able to run the ball like we wanted to. I give all the credit to the line, they did a fantastic job.”
After turnovers by both teams, Masterson directed a nine-play, 85-yard drive midway through the second quarter and scored on a 10-yard scramble to make it a game again, but it was all Barnstable after that.
Hayden Murphy scored on touchdown runs of seven and one yard to give Barnstable a 28-7 lead going into the half.
Whatever adjustments that were made at the half didn’t work either as Clyde Perry picked off Masterson’s pass on the second play of the third quarter and returned it to the Rams 7-yard line, setting up Kristian Lucashensky’s seven yard scoring run.
“We got beat up on both sides of the ball plus the turnovers,” Rams coach Lou Silva said. “That’s not a good formula. You can’t do that in these types of games.”
Holding a 35-7 lead early in the third quarter, the Raiders run game took over, and more importantly kept the clock running. A 50-yard punt return from Derek Estes down to the Marshfield 1-yard line set up Murphy’s fourth touchdown of the game.
Marshfield needed a miracle and caught a glimmer of hope. The Rams special teams blocked two punts giving them the ball deep in Red Raider territory but were only able to capitalize on one drive, a 14-yard hookup between Frank Catamoso and Masterson.
That’s when Chaffee took it upon himself to crush all hopes of a comeback when he broke loose for a 49-yard scoring run. The shifty 5-foot-7 back ran into the pile and somehow came out on the other end looking like he was shot out of a canon.
The Murphy-Chaffee show: Murphy ran 196 yards on 20 carries. Chaffee added another 145 on 11 carries. Six touchdowns, an interception and a big third down sack.
Marshfield simply had no answer for the two seniors. The pistol offense that the Red Raiders run compliments both runners. With the windy conditions both teams had to tweak their game plans a bit. But Barnstable picked a good time to have their best run game of the year.
“It doesn’t happen if Chaffee isn’t as dynamic as he was,” Whidden said. “I cant over estimate the effect that Justus has. When Justus runs like he did today, now all of a sudden they have to key Justus just as much as they do Hayden.”
The Raiders offense is very balanced and will give defensive coordinators fits. Try to take away one tailback, the other will get you. Sell out against the run game, and Lucashensky will make you pay.
Which leads us to our next point...
Can we just fast-forward to next week? “Every time you win, your reward is a tougher challenge.”
Whidden’s words couldn’t be any more accurate. Next week, Troy Flutie and company come to town. Pass-happy Natick will make the trip to meet Derek Estes’ pass defense.
There is no easy matchup in this loaded Division 2 South bracket. The Raiders defense will be put to the test against this high-octane offense.
Estes is one of the top coverage cornerbacks in the state, and leads a stingy defense that doesn’t like seeing the ball thrown on them.
Murphy is looking forward to the challenge. “How do you prepare for Flutie? We’ll work on that tomorrow. I’m confident we can beat any team in the state.”
Whidden is just as confident. “If we put our best foot forward, we can play with anybody.”
No matter the outcome, the game will not disappoint.
No. 7 Barnstable 48, Marshfield 29
B - Justus Chaffee 49 run (kick fail), 9:24
B - Hayden Murphy 35 interception return (Derek Estes pass from Kristian Lucashensky), 8:34
M - Jack Masterson 10 run (Aaron Skulky kick), 5:58
B - Murphy 7 run (kick failed), 4:04
B - Murphy 1 run (Mike Bilodeau pass from Lucashensky), 0:00
B - Lucashensky 7 run (rush failed), 9:26
B - Murphy 1 run (Dereck Pacheco kick), 6:20
M - Masterson 6 run (Skulky kick), 2:13
M - Frank Caranoso 14 pass from Masterson (Skulky kick), 5:15
B - Chaffee 49 run (Pacheco kick), 4:19
M - Jacob Maher 17 pass from Troy Rodrigues (Jeff Keans pass from Rodrigues), 0:06