Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mashpee Rides Ford Past St. Mary's (Lynn) for Spot in D7 State Final

By Nate Rollins (@n_rollins1)

Braintree, Mass. - The Mashpee High football team is off to the Super Bowl, again.

The Falcons secured their third straight trip to the state championship game with a 28-20 victory over St. Mary’s (Lynn) in the Div. 7 state semifinals.

“It feels tremendous,” Mashpee head coach Matt Triveri said of going back to the Gillette Stadium.

Mashpee will square off against Blackstone Valley Tech (11-0) in the Div. 7 Super Bowl on Friday, Dec. 1, at Gillette Stadium.

Tied at 20-20 with 7:51 remaining, the Falcons took over from their own 47. Four rushes by Devaun Ford later, Mashpee had a 1st-and-10 at the Spartans’ 15. On the ensuing play, Ford received what was his 34th handoff of this one, cut right, then sliced back left and rumbled 15 yards into the end zone.

On the two-point try, Ford swept left, lowered his head and powered his way in for the score to make it at 28-20 contest with 4:36 left.

“Just everything seemed to click,” Ford said. “We came in, everybody was doubting us. We just wanted to prove everybody wrong.”

“He’s a special kid,” Triveri said. “When push comes to shove, you want to make sure your best guy has the ball in his hands.”

The Mashpee scoring drive came on the heels of a 10-yard strike from Calvin Jonson to James Brumfield which knotted the score at 20 apiece with just over three minutes into the final frame. A tackle by Kendall Rose on the two-point conversion kept it a tied game.

“That was a huge play for Kendall to make,” Ford said. “It gave us a giant swing in momentum.”

With 3:52 to go in the first half, Falcons signal caller Jacob Johnston opened the scoring with a 7-yard rush up the middle to cap of a 12-play drive. Ford’s two points made it 8-0.

St. Mary’s responded a minute later when Josh Mateo broke free for a 55-yard TD.

Ford, who racked up 246 yards on the ground, answered right back with a 13-yard run to pay dirt late in the first frame.

With 8:28 to go in the second quarter, Johnson connected with Eni Falayi for a 20-yard touchdown to bring the Spartans back even, 14-14.

Mashpee made it five-straight scoring drives, after the two teams exchanged punts to begin this one, via a Johnston quarterback sneak to push the Falcons ahead, 20-14. Nine carries by Ford sparked the drive.

Ford’s impact on offense was enormous, but his defensive play making was just as good. With 1:18 to go in the second quarter, Ford picked off Johnson for what would be his first of two interceptions. His second came on the ensuing Spartans drive, which was their first of the second half.

“I just came in saying I’m just going to run hard and just sell out for my team because I know my team is going to sell out for me,” Ford said.

Mashpee did a solid job at bottling up Johnson on the ground, as it held him to 63 yards on the evening.

The Falcons offensive line - comprised of seniors Ian Ahearn, Ben Bohenberger, Toren Burton, John McNamara and Raul Garcia - was outstanding all game.

“They deserve all the credit in the world,” Triveri said.

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