BOSTON – Preston Cooper might have been BC High’s lightning in a bottle, but Deontae Ramey-Doe packs plenty of thunder.
Now, as the No. 5 Eagles’ feature back, following Cooper’s season-ending injury against Everett, Ramey-Doe has kept up his counterpart’s stride. Along with a stifling defense, Ramey-Doe’s 206-yard, two-touchdown effort propelled the Eagles’ key 16-6 Catholic Conference victory over No. 8 Xaverian at Viola Stadium.
“Deonte runs hard,” Eagles head coach Jon Bartlett said. “We told him that we’re not expecting [him] to be Preston for the rest of the season, we just want him to run hard. And he did that tonight.”
Ramey-Doe had BC High (6-3, 2-0) to a 13-0 halftime lead after two second-quarter rushing touchdowns of 28 and 44 yards.
Meanwhile, the Eagles’ defense was downright dominant in the first 22 minutes, allowing just three yards of offense and holding the Hawks (5-4, 1-1) to a single first down.
Xaverian didn’t break up the Eagles’ shutout bid until the inside the two-minute warning on Austin DeCarr’s 32-yard pass to Mike Warren.
HOLDING THE LINE
Bartlett considers the Hawks’ linemen as the strength of the team, so he had to be pleased with the way his offensive and defensive linemen controlled the point of attack on both sides of the ball.
The Eagles offensive line of Bill Breen, Jake Durkin, Jack McDonald, Mike Prendeville and Justin Roberts along with fullback Luke Catarius and tight end Jameson McShea, gashed holes in the Hawks’ line, easily allowing Ramey-Doe entry to the second level of the Xaverian D.
Meanwhile, the Eagles defensive line was equally disruptive. Defensive end Adam Richard (3 tackles for loss) set up shop in the Hawks’ backfield along with McShea (sack).
Linebacker Zach West also killed a promising Hawks drive inside the red zone with an interception at the end of the third quarter.
“We used our speed to our advantage,” said McShea, a Temple commit. “They had a lot of big gaps that we took advantage of with our speed … We know that our linebackers can fill the holes.”
FILLING BIG SHOES
With Cooper and Ramey-Doe in the backfield, the Eagles had perhaps the most potent rushing duo in the state. And, while you might have thought BC High would lose its big-play ability with the loss of Cooper, it’s just been more of the same with Ramey-Doe in his last two games making the start.
“I just have to do what I can do,” the 6-foot, 180-pound senior back said.
Cooper was in attendance, watching the game from the sideline. So when Ramey-Doe scored his second touchdown of the game, he made it a point to give a high five to his injured teammate on the way back to the bench area.
But now Ramey-Doe must forge his own identity, which to no small extent will be the Eagles’ offensive identity down the stretch run of the season.
So far, pretty good.
“We’re different runners, me and Preston,” Ramey-Doe said. “I like to run between the tackles a little bit more. But as long as the linemen keep doing their job, like they did tonight, we’ll be all set.”
DOING IT FOR NO. 4
Cooper remains on the forefront of the Eagles’ minds.
Many of the BC High players carved out No. 4 on their eye black strips. Cooper’s white jersey hung on the kicking net a few feet from where the Wareham native watched Friday’s game.
In the waning seconds of the Eagles’ wins, fellow captains Bartley Regan and Gordon McLeod came over to congratulate Cooper on the win. He was also a part of the celebratory postgame breakdown with his teammates forming a semicircle around his wheelchair.
“He has a lot of spirit for us and just having him around is great,” said McShea, who typically carpools with Cooper to school on the way from the Cape. “I love having him back on the field with us now.”
Xaverian (5-4, 1-1) 0 0 0 6 -- 6
BC High (6-3, 2-0) 0 13 0 3 -- 16
BC -Deontae Ramey-Doe 28-yard run (kick blocked)
BC - Ramey-Doe 44-yard run (Jackson Bockhurst kick)
BC - Bockhurst 30-yard field goal
X - Mike Warren 32-yard pass from Austin DeCarr (pass failed)