Saturday, December 1, 2018

Blackstone Valley Tech's Revenge Tour ends with a D7 State Title

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Foxboro, Mass. - A year after coming up just short on the hallowed turf of Gillette Stadium, Blackstone Valley Tech broke through.

The Beavers, big underdogs against a dynastic Mashpee team last season, handled their business routinely against St. Mary's (Lynn), smothering the Spartans 18-0 in Saturday's Division 7 state championship game. BVT held a talented St. Mary's offense to just 75 total yards, including only 27 in the first half when the game was still in doubt.

"St. Mary's is a great team, don't get me wrong, but they didn't come out  to execute today," BVT junior J.D. Antaya. "They looked a little nervous, like us last year at Gillette, but we just came out and treated (Saturday) like any other game."

For BVT, the win meant not just a title, but also state-wide respect, something the Beavers felt they were shorted the last time they visited Foxboro. The Beavers also became the first vocational school to ever win a state-wide football championship in Massachusetts.

""This is the culmination of the last two years," BVT head coach Jim Archibald said. "We started in the weight room last December 7th (after the loss to Mashpee)… This was our goal from day one in that weight room, to get back and win a state title.""

The Beavers got things started early, as the do-it-all Antaya punched it in from two yards out. In the second quarter, thanks to a dominant BVT defensive effort, the Beavers regained possession and began marching. Following a 47-yard Antaya run, BVT found itself facing fourth and goal, but a nifty quarterback bootleg call freed Scott Mackay for an untouched score.

Antaya then intercepted St. Mary's quarterback Derek O'Leary just before the half, but Mackay was stopped one yard short of the goal line as time expired in the second, denying the Beavers a knockout blow before intermission.

It wouldn't take long for the Beavers to strike again, though, as Mackay plunged in for another one-yard score early in the third, extending the BVT lead to 18-0. Mackay finished the game with 162 total yards, including 96 and two scores on the ground.

"It's the best feeling in the world. These kids are just unbelievable," Archibald said. "This is something no one will ever be able to take away from them. They've done this all year, this isn't something new, this isn't something that started during a playoff run, they've been like this all year long."

Midway through the fourth, BVT closed the door, stopping St. Mary's with a goal line stand, spearheaded by junior defensive lineman John Nasuti, who came up with a tackle for loss and a tipped pass on the drive. On fourth down, Aidan Fitzgerald came up from the secondary to stop a scrambling O'Leary and give the ball back to BVT.

"We didn't want to give an inch," Antaya said. "Every second of every play counts, and we just came out to execute today."