Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dennis-Yarmouth Overwhelms Marshfield for ACL Title

Photo courtesy of Dennis-Yarmouth Athletics (@DolphinAthletic).

By Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports)

YARMOUTH - Anyone who was at "The Lagoon" on Friday night saw who the top team in the Atlantic Coast League is this season.

For the third straight year, there is a different ACL champion this season. The Marshfield Rams could not stop Dennis-Yarmouth's speedy and high-powered offense on Friday night. As a result, the Dolphins beat the Rams, 43-16, at home to improve to 6-0.

The Rams fell to 4-2 on the season, marking the first time they have lost multiple regular-season games since 2013.

The win marks the first time since 2011 that the Dolphins have won the ACL. That year, they clinched it with a 14-0 win over the Rams, went undefeated and won the Division 2A EMass Super Bowl. Although the Dolphins did not win the league in 2013, they did stop the Rams from earning a share of it by beating them 40-36.

“To actually get a chance at winning the league championship, you had to win this one,” Dolphins head coach Paul Funk said. “The league title goes through Marshfield.”

The Dolphins struck first in the contest with Jacob McCarthy hitting Geoff Jamiel for a 28-yard touchdown pass. The play was set up by a 40-yard punt return from Daryan Thompson and their extra point was good, giving them a 7-0 lead with 3:28 left in the first quarter.

It would not take the Dolphins long to regain possession. They had some success stopping the Rams ground game and forced a punt late in the first quarter.

Bobby Evans, who was dominant on the ground and ran for 270 yards on 24 carries, put his team in the red zone on one of the final plays of the first quarter on a 52-yard run. From there, the Dolphins moved the ball and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run less than a minute into the second quarter.

Their successful extra point kick gave them a 14-0 lead.

Midway through the second quarter, the Rams got on the board in a shocking manner. The Dolphins stopped the Rams offense in the red zone, so Danny Hickey kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it a 14-3 game. It was the Rams first field goal since 2011 and their first attempt since 2012.

With two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half, the Dolphins forced a three-and-out and a Rams punt. From there, the Dolphins put their two-minute drills to good use and were able to score from a yard out with just a few seconds remaining on the clock. Their PAT was good, so they led 21-3 at halftime.

Coming into the contest, the Rams were averaging over 39 points per game, but the Dolphins did not surrender a touchdown to them in the first half.

“I wanted our defense to leave it all out on the field tonight,” Funk said, “and that's just what we did. That was a great defensive performance all around.”

On their first possession of the second half, the Rams showed signs of life. Midway through, Jackson Phinney (19-for-34 passing, 204 yards) threw a screen pass to Jack McNeil and the running back turned it into a 50-yard touchdown pass. The Rams nailed their extra point and made it a 21-10 game.

Although a touchdown may have implied the Rams had some momentum, the Dolphins came back with a rapid response. Evans had a 45-yard touchdown run with 6:58 remaining in the third to put his team up 27-10.

Tailback Eddie Kielty made it a two-score game with about four minutes remaining in the third quarter. He punched in a touchdown from a yard out to make the score 27-16.

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Evans had two big runs to put his team back in the end zone. With the ball on DY's own 34-yard line, he put up a 42-yard run and followed that up with a 24-yard touchdown run. A successful extra point gave the Dolphins a 34-16 lead.

With six minutes left in the game, the Dolphins got points thanks to their defense. They put pressure on the Rams and forced an intentional grounding in the end zone to take a 36-16 lead.

The Dolphins ended the game with a 1-yard touchdown run from McCarthy and a successful point after kick put them up by 27 points, 43-16.

Beating the Rams here also served as major revenge for the Dolphins. Last year, the Rams beat them 61-8. Since the Dolphins lost by 53 points last year and won by 27 points this year, that represents a difference in 80 points from one year to the next.

The Dolphins have scored over 44 points per game this season and they move on to face Scituate on the road.

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