FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – DeShaun Dias may have been the best kept secret in the state during the regular season, but after this most recent playoff run, the star running back is getting the recognition he finally deserves.
With each stage bigger than the last, Dias put together a playoff performance for the ages. That run culminated on Saturday afternoon, as Dias gashed the St. Bernard’s defense for 239 yards on 24 carries, and all four Mashpee touchdowns, leading the Falcons to their second State Championship in five years with a 28-8 victory at Gillette Stadium.
In five playoffs game, Dias posted an eye-popping 1,216 yards on 136 carries and a total of 16 touchdowns, a total that likely won’t be topped anytime soon.
“In reality, he’s one of the most underrated football players in the state and it’s good to see him on this stage,” Mashpee coach Matt Triveri said. “He ran for 329 today, over 1,200 in the playoffs, I can honestly tell you than no one has ever run for that in the couple of years of this playoff system.”
“I think it’s the greatest playoff run in the history of the state, you’re are talking about a kid who ran for 1,200 yards in five games, its an unbelievable performance.”
Dias added: “It’s a great feeling, being able to do what I do, give to the line credit because I can’t do anything without them. They adjusted well in the last quarter of the game.”
Dias’s performance was reminiscent of Jared Taylor’s 308-yard performance in Mashpee’s 2011 Super Bowl victory, a school record that stood until two weeks ago when Dias exploded for 349 yards in the Falcons’ Eastern Mass. victory over Essex Tech.
“I think our two tailbacks in this building have over 500 yards,” Triveri said of Taylor and Dias. “That’s because of the offensive line, they have played very well.”
It was hardly that start that Dias is accustomed to, as the star tailback was held to a quiet 85 yards on 12 carries in the first half, mostly coming on the game’s opening drive.
With St. Bernard’s switching up their defense early, Mashpee elected to throw the ball, rather ineffectively, as Mashpee entered the half deadlocked at eight with the Bernardians.
“It gave us a few issues, and we tried to spread it out since we had man-to-man coverage so we were going to try to get some shots but in the end it was as much them as it was us,’ Triveri said.
Looking for a spark at the half, Triveri pulled Dias aside as the team was leaving the locker room and laid it on the line.
“You are going to put this on your shoulders and you are going to carry us home,” Triveri told his tailback.
Dias did just that, as himself and junior linebacker Dominick Fellini broke through on a critical goal-line stop to open the second half.
Once the Falcons got the ball back, the offense returned to their original game plan, feeding Dias the ball. After running just three plays in the third quarter, Mashpee struck early in the fourth, give Dias the ball on a sweep to the left sideline, and the senior cut back for a 58-yard score.
“He was patient as could be, he found holes and once he breaks it, it’s done, it’s over,” Triveri said.
Dias had an interception on the ensuing possession, and scored a 20-yard touchdown on a toss to the right to ice the game with four minutes to play. Dias added another touchdown after a fumbled kickoff for his fourth of the day.
“I told them keep punching, keeping punching, I’ll break one, keep going and that’s a big thing for us,” Dias said.