ALLSTON, Mass. -- It may have been one of the most lopsided scores in the 124-year history of the rivalry, but Thursday’s 54-12 victory for Boston Latin over Boston English might be more about the story of the Bulldogs’ accomplishments in defeat than anything.
English (0-11) entered Thursday’s game having scored just one touchdown on the season, outscored 323-6 in an 0-10 season to date. So the ability of the Bulldogs team, one that dressed just 14 players on Thanksgiving, two of whom were playing in their first game ever, to get to the end zone twice was as big of an accomplishment as Latin’s 54 points scored, the most either team has scored in a single game in the history of the rivalry.
“I’m so proud of these guys,” first-year English head coach Chris Boswell said. “We face a lot of adversity – academically, experience, age, ability, equipment. But we knew the kickoff was at 10 a.m., and that’s all that mattered.”
That kickoff had many in attendance at Harvard Stadium wondering if this was going to be the biggest upset in the storied rivalry's history. English’s Richard Monteiro returned the kick 76 yards for a touchdown bringing sunshine to what has been a cloudy season. The team had scored just one touchdown all season coming into Thanksgiving Day, also a game-opening kickoff return in the third
game of the season.
“It was a good start,” said Boswell. “If you saw my reaction, I didn’t get excited. It was the first play of the game. But inside I was jumping up and down.”
The Bulldogs scored again with less than a minute left in the first quarter, when Monteiro broke free at the line of scrimmage and found room of the left side thanks to a Hassan Ingram block, leading to an 85-yard touchdown run, the team’s longest play from scrimmage all season.
“I wasn’t displeased when they ran the kickoff back for a touchdown. I wasn’t displeased when they scored their second touchdown,” Boston Latin head coach John McDonough said. “I was a little pissed at our guys that they let it happen. But I was happy to see English score. The fact they scored twice, I turned around and said, ‘Okay guys, game on.’”
That game was Latin’s running attack, which spoiled English’s Cinderella story. Sandwiched between the two English touchdowns were three rushing touchdowns from Latin (4-7).
Four plays and less than two minutes after the opening kickoff return, the Wolfpack evened things on a four-yard Kenneth Terry run. Tyler Hallinan followed up with a score on a 14-yard rush, and Jhalen Bien-Amie broke free for a 25-yard touchdown. The Wolfpack were successful on both two-point conversions for a 22-6 lead.
After Monteiro’s touchdown got the Bulldogs within 10 points at the end of the first, the fatigue factor for English –- with most players forced to play both offense and defense -- became the difference.
Latin scored on the first play of the second quarter when captain Connor Carrigan ran 23 yards for a touchdown. Hallinan scored his second touchdown of the game at with six minutes left on a 15-yard rush. Tack on successful two-point conversions for each and an English safety late in the quarter and Latin headed to halftime with a 40-12 advantage.
“[English] looked tired at the end of the first quarter and we were still ready to go,” said Terry, who finished what he called the best game of his career with two touchdowns as well as two successful two-point conversions. “We gassed them pretty early.”
Latin added two touchdowns in the second half, the first a 2-yard Terry run and the second a 13-yard rush from David Berry to cap the scoring.
A look at the final score might not show much of a moral victory for English. But for a coach who is looking to rebuild what once was a storied high school football program, things like tripling your team’s offensive production is more than a silver lining.
And that silver lining is what Boswell needs if he’s going to not only keep the few players he does have but also recruit additional bodies to give his team a fighting chance.
“We have to invest in these kids,” said Boswell. “We have to let them know we’re here for them. We want to build a [junior varsity] program and have a JV and varsity team. We want to send kids to the next level and have them play at the next level.”
BOSTON LATIN 54, BOSTON ENGLISH 12
BE 12 0 0 0 --- 12
BL 22 18 8 6 --- 54
BE - Richard Monteiro 76-yard kickoff return (conversion failed)
BL - Kenneth Terry 4-yard rush (kick failed)
BL - Tyler Hallinan 14-yard rush (Terry rush)
BL - Jhalen Bien-Amie 25-yard rush (Bien-Amie rush)
BE - Monteiro 85-yard rush (conversion failed)
BL - Connor Carrigan 23-yard rush (Bien-Amie rush)
BL - Hallinan 15-yard rush (Terry rush)
BL - Safety
BL - Terry 2-yard rush (Miles Wright rush)
BL - David Barry 13-yard rush (conversion failed)