Saturday, November 5, 2016

BC High Flies Past Brockton Into the D1 South Finals

Star running back Danny Abraham and the Eagles soared Friday night against the Boxers.
By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

- What a difference two weeks can make.

Just 14 days ago, BC High (6-2) appeared to be teetering. A 38-21 shellacking at the hands of St. John’s Prep and a 17-0 shutout to Catholic Conference foe Xaverian on back-to-back weeks caused the Eagles to finish the regular season with consecutive losses, and many to wonder whether the first four weeks of the season were a mere fluke. 

Since then, the Eagles have responded with a vengeance. After a 34-13 piercing of Braintree in the first round of the Division 1 South Sectional playoffs, the Eagles jumped out a 21-0 first half lead behind the play of quarterback Connor Cady, then never looked back en route to a 35-8 thrashing of seventh-seeded Brockton.

The win advances BC High to the South Sectional Finals where they will take on Xaverian for the second time in three years.

Coach Jon Bartlett said it was just all about putting the final two weeks of the regular season in the past.

“The mark of a good team is how we rebound and adjust,” said Bartlett. “You have two options at that point: You either stay down or get back up. We got back up and it has showed.”

All first half, Cady was the star of show, running for 96 yards over 14 carries, while going five-for-six in the air for 76 yards and one touchdown.

On the opening drive, Cady hit Bobby Demeo for a leaping grab by the near sideline to push BC High inside the Brockton two yard line. One play later, fullback T.J. Rothmann took the handoff into the end zone for a touchdown to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.

BC High’s defense proceeded to force a Brockton punt, allowing Cady to go right back to work.

Now using his legs as his main weapon to slash through the Boxer defense, Cady took three snaps out of shotgun straight up the middle for 35 combined yards, pushing BC High into Brockton territory.

Two plays later it was Cady again, this time using the read option to draw the defensive end towards running back Danny Abraham. Before the Brockton defender could get to Abraham, Cady pulled the ball back and ran around the edge to the Boxers eight-yard line, before finishing off the scoring drive on his own with a run from eight years out giving BC High an early 14-0 advantage.

That lead would have been more than enough for an Eagle defense that was nothing short of stalwart all evening long.

In the first half, BC High persistently found itself in the backfield before Brockton quarterback Thomas O’Brien could even hand it off to Dominic Simpson.

When the Boxers were able to get past the line of scrimmage, it seemed not even worth the effort.

In total, Brockton was able to muster a mere 19 yards of offense in the first half to go with just one first down.

Cady said the Eagles’ defensive prowess allowed the offense to continuously hit a tired Brockton defense.

“They step up for us every game, it makes it so easy for us,” praised Cady. “It gives us a big momentum boost knowing they got our backs and we will need them big again next week.”

The offensive onslaught from BC High continued to rain down.

Still leading 14-0 and with four minutes to go in the first half, the Eagles elected to go for the kill shot.

Consecutive passes by Cady to receivers Kyle Burke and Will Bowen moved the Eagles to the Boxer 20-yard line, and four plays later Danny Abraham took it off the edge for a seven-yard score, putting BC High in full command heading into the break.

“All week we knew they were going to come out in some defensive sets,” said Cady. “Our cutbacks broke loose, we stayed patient, and we got it done.”

Brockton had one golden opportunity to get back within striking distance midway through the third quarter.

Four completions from O’Brien – the last for 13 yards to Shaun King – marched Brockton inside in the red zone.

That’s when disaster struck as defensive lineman Jeff Wolff batted O’Brien’s pass at the line, and the ball was picked off out of the air by safety Liam McDonald.

Cady made sure the mistake was a fatal one.

After Abraham took off for 25 yards to get BC High over midfield, Cady brought the enthusiastic Eagles fans to their feet one final time, running it straight up the gut for a 49-yard touchdown to put BC High on top 28-0 and seal a trip to the Division 1 South Sectional Final.

“We know that we are going up against another terrific opponent next week,” said Bartlett. “We have a lot of work to do to make sure we are even better if we want to get to our goal.”

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