Friday, October 28, 2016

Bridgewater-Raynham Opens Postseason with Rout of Natick

Senior wide receiver Bobby Long (7) celebrates a Trojan touchdown in B-R's convincing victory over Natick.
By Jason Siegel

NATICK, Mass. - The Bridgewater Raynham Trojans dominated the Natick Redhawks on both sides of the ball, en route to a 35-6 victory on Friday night at Memorial Field in Natick.

Bridgewater Raynham (5-3) will now move on to the Division 1A South semifinals, and will face the winner of the Wellesley-Hingham game, which is being played Saturday at 1:00 PM.

The Trojans wasted no time in putting points on the board, and looked dominant from the start. On the first play from scrimmage, junior quarterback Corey Sullivan connected with senior wide receiver Bryce Cohen for 34 yards.

Two plays later, senior running back Shawn Noel Jr. ran it in from 14 yards out with 9:20 remaining in the first quarter. George Lampros’ extra point made the Natick (6-2) deficit 7-0.

Bridgewater-Raynham head coach Dan Buron said that scoring first can be a deciding factor in a game where the stakes are high, and the two teams are unfamiliar with each other.

“The team that scores first is going to have the upper hand, and we were able to do that pretty quickly,” Buron said.

After a Natick three-and-out, B-R’s offense picked up right where it left off. Junior running back Devante Greaves scored on a 44-yard run. Lampros’ extra point gave the Trojans a 14-0 lead with 3:39 remaining in the first period.

B-R’s defense stepped up at the end of the opening period, as junior defensive back Dan Taylor intercepted a pass from Natick quarterback Christian D’Antonio.

Bridgewater-Raynham’s offense was back on the field to begin the second quarter. This time, the Natick defense stepped up. After a personal foul penalty on the Trojans made a 3rd-and-1 a much less manageable 3rd-and-16 from the Bridgewater-Raynham 44-yard line, Natick senior Antoine Jackson stuffed Noel at the line of scrimmage, forcing a Trojan punt.

After the Redhawks went three-and-out, Bridgewater-Raynham extended their lead after running back Bryce Shaw found the end zone from 21-yards out. Lampros’ extra point sailed through the uprights, giving the Trojans a 21-0 lead with 4:02 remaining in the second period.

B-R wasn’t done yet, however. On Natick’s ensuing possession, D’Antonio was intercepted by senior Brian Murano. The pick set up the Trojans at the Natick 35-yard line.

“It was a good team effort. I thought the defense played well,” coach Buron said after the game.

Bridgewater-Raynham took full advantage of the interception. Noel scored his second touchdown of the night on fourth-and-goal from the Natick 1-yard line with forty-four seconds remaining in the first half.

Natick’s offense showed some signs of life late in the third quarter. A D’Antonio pass was tipped by B-R’s Connor Rego and caught by Natick junior Max Ferrucci, which set Natick up with first-and-goal from the Bridgewater-Raynham 1-yard line.

Junior Jack Canney punched it in from the one-yard line, ending B-R’s shutout bid with forty-one seconds remaining in the third period.

Noel put the icing on the cake with 5:26 remaining in the fourth quarter, when he found the end zone from 7 yards out, his third touchdown of the game. Lampros’ fifth PAT in as many attempts rounded out the scoring.

Coach Buron would like to see the Trojans cut down on the number of penalties against them, especially holding penalties, which cost teams ten yards.

Overall, Bridgewater-Raynham had a strong performance and total team effort, and they have a lot of positives that they can take away from this game as they continue their quest to play in a state championship game at Gillette Stadium.

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