Saturday, December 7, 2013

Postgame Blog: Doherty Completes Journey, Wins D4 Crown

Doherty celebrates with the Division 4 championship trophy.
By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

The 2013 Doherty Highlanders are a greedy bunch.

Capturing the school's first Central Mass title in 33 years simply wasn't good enough for them, so they won the inaugural Division 4 state championship in the second game at Gillette Stadium Saturday.

The Highlanders had the feel of a "team of destiny" all year long, and that destiny was realized in a 28-26 thriller of a win over D4 East champion Dennis-Yarmouth.

Nervous Finish

Doherty seemed to seal the game when it converted a 3rd and 7 with less than three minutes to play, but a quick three and out followed for the Highlanders, and D-Y was given new life. A screen from Dolphin QB Spencer Tyler to running back Kent Mertz went over 30 yards and gave D-Y first and 10 at the Highlander 14, then Tyler kept it himself on the keeper for a six yard score moments later.

But, Doherty forced Tyler to throw a prayer on the two point try. Excellent coverage from Jahkari Carpenter and Shawn Jackson led to the ball hitting the turf, and an onside kick recovery from Doherty a play later ended the game.

Yiadom's Monster Day

I already covered the huge day from Littleton's Travis Bassett, but Yiadom may have out done him. With 160 yards and a touchdown on offense, plus a pair of touchdown saving pass deflections on defense, Yiadom was everywhere on the field.

The Boston College commit has been, arguably, the most impactful non-quarterback in the state, and this game was just the cherry on top of a fantastic career. Is he the greatest Highlander of all time? That's not something I have the perspective to answer, but he's got to be up there, right?

Adarkwah Always a Threat

One reason Yiadom has had so much room to work this year is that the guy across from him, classmate Alfred Adarkwah, is a lethal threat himself. The 6-foot-4 Adarkwah, who I always say you can't cover one-on-one in the red zone, proved you really just shouldn't single cover him at all.

As time expired in the first half, Adarkwah beat his man deep. Then, with the safety coming over late, QB Luke Brennan dropped it right into his hands for a 41 yard score. The touchdown put the Highlanders up 14-7 at the half, and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Adarkwah finished the postseason with seven touchdowns on 10 catches. Safe to say he made the most of his touches.

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