BROCKTON, Mass. – Friday night’s duel between Division 1 South powers No. 6 Brockton and No. 19 BC High looked like a “Clash of the Titans” coming in.
No, it wasn’t the goofy sci-fi remake flick of the same name. This was the real deal. Two of the biggest, baddest offensive and defensive lines, respectively, going at it.
In all probability, there could be a rematch along the way in the section playoffs, but score Round 1 as a decision for the Boxers. Brockton controlled the point of attack on offense, allowing junior running back Kerry Raymond to run for 169 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown in a 31-17 win over the Eagles.
“I think the last two weeks – both weeks – I like the way we’re playing,” Boxers head coach Peter Colombo said. “We’re controlling the line of scrimmage and you saw Kerry, he’s a kid that’s just really learning how to run the football. He’s a horse and we’re going to ride him.”
BC High (2-2) claimed an early 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Jared Mockus. The lead would be the Eagles’ last and it was short-lived, however, as Raymond broke off a 50-yard touchdown run on the Boxers’ second play from scrimmage.
The long running plays kept coming for Brockton (3-1) in the second quarter, when Jonathan Deroulus took a sweep 69 yards for a score and a 14-3 lead with 6:33 to play in the half.
“Those were the frustrating plays, those long runs,” Eagles head coach Jon Bartlett said. “I’m proud of the guys for responding back, but still, we couldn’t get that stop when we needed it.”
BC High would get the seven points back before the half, as Sean Holleran (12 of 20, 142 yards) hit Nick Gill on a 43-yard scoring play just inside the 2-minute warning to make the score 14-10 at the half.
The Boxers’ running game again showed its big-play ability, as Brockton started the second half with the ball. A 52-yard run off a counter by Raymond set up quarterback Aaron Williams’ 1-yard touchdown on the fourth play from scrimmage.
On the ensuing Eagles’ drive, an Aaron Monteiro fumble recovery returned possession to the Boxers. And, once again, after taking over at the BC High 23-yard line, Brockton wasted no time scoring, but forced to settle for a Ryan Clifford 31-yard field goal.
The Eagles again made it a one-possession game, with fullback Stephen Timmins (9 carries, 72 yards) bruising his in for a 24-yard touchdown run, carrying several Boxers defensive backs with him across the goal line.
On Brockton’s ensuing drive, the Boxers turned in their big-play offense for a more plodding, methodical philosophy. It was equally successful on a 9-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in Williams’ second touchdown of the half, a 2-yarder with 8:45 remaining.
Putting up a front: While Brockton’s offensive line paved the way for another 100-yard game by Raymond, the Boxers’ defensive front was just as impressive.
Playing a deep rotation of situational run-stuffers and pass-rushers, Brockton kept it motor high in the face of a physical Eagles’ line.
“I’ve got great coaches on defense with Bob O’Neill and his crew,” Colombo said. “[Jason] Mosely and Chris Brennan coaches that D-line and those kids are well-coached. We get a rotation in there and that helps.”
Monteiro, the two-way lineman and Boston College commit, was a handful on the interior defensive line, while Ben Cowart, Jean Gelin (pass defended) and Dan Estrella (sack) all provided pressure in pursuit.
“We were flying around all game,” Monteiro said. “We did everything the coaches tell us to do – keep making contact, push forward, keep making bull rushes.”
On the flip side, the matchup also presented the tallest challenge for BC High. The Eagles, which boasts one of the state’s biggest offensive lines, were itching to see how they stacked up against another of the Commonwealth’s best units.
“This was a big game for us,” Bartlett said. “We want to get this program back on top and so this is a great way to do it. We’re disappointed because we lost. We thought how we played up front, we were able to handle them at times, they handled us at times. It was back-and-forth, but overall, we’ve got to get back up and respond next week.”