Friday, July 28, 2017

Dennis-Yarmouth Steals Show at New England 7-on-7s

By Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7)

PEABODY, Mass. – The high school football season quick off in theory on Thursday, July 27, as eight contending teams from Massachussetts, one from New Hampshire and one from Maine got to strut their stuff in the annual UnderArmour New England 7-on-7 Championships at Bishop Fenwick.

After 10 games in pool play and a couple of close semifinals, two MIAA schools in Middleboro and Dennis-Yarmouth faced off for the second time during the tournament with the Dolphins prevailing in a 14-13 thriller.

Dennis-Yarmouth, which lost in the semifinals of the South regional to Stoughton, joined the ranks of the regional championship after South finalist Bishop Feehan dropped out. 

The Dolphins were in danger of missing the final four after a last-second loss to Woburn, but junior Daryan Thompson scored a touchdown in the waning minutes to secure a 20-14 victory over Middleboro in their final game of pool play.

They managed to take down Bonny Eagle (ME) in the semifinals, but the Dolphins found themselves down five with under four minutes to go and the ball in the Sachems hands during the finals. 

The Dolphins buckled down and earned a stop, setting up a game-winning touchdown from quarterback Jacob McCarthy to Rob Evans as time expired for the school's first NE Championship in the tournament’s 12-year history.

“We were a wildcard,” Evans about the Dolphins, who qualified for the tournament thanks to Bishop Feehan declining its invitation.

“Everyone thought we weren’t going to come out and compete but we wanted it more. We came out with a lot of intensity and showed what we could do.”

East champion Billerica and South finalist Stoughton both impressed during pool play with quarterback Tom Laundry leading the Indians and a pair of impressive receivers carrying the Knights in Ruben Gonzalez and Ajahn Rue. 

Woburn, Lynn English and Swampscott each earned wins before bowing out of the tournament. 

Led by running back Jeremy Soule and quarterback Evan Gwozdz, Middleboro rallied for several close wins to win the South regional and opened the day with a double-overtime victory over Winnacunnet.

“I love that feeling,” Gwozdz said about competing in close games. “Learning to work under pressure helps you prepare for the regular season and it’s good to learn how to focus in those situations, because we know they’re going to come up again.”

In the semifinals, Middleboro came back to beat BB&N while Dennis-Yarmouth handled Bonny Eagle to set up a rematch in the tournament final, where Evans and company did what they usually do as the dominant program in the Atlantic Coast League.

“During the season, we’re not underdogs,” said Evans. “We’re the top dogs on the Cape and we’re going to come out and get it.”

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