FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – On the strength of Bartley Regan's right arm, BC High earned its berth in the Eastern Mass. Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
But the passing game was option No. 2 in Saturday's final, thanks largely to an offensive line that fueled a first-rate running game against no-quit underdog Needham.
Deontae Ramey-Doe ran for 200 yards on 24 carries in BC High's 21-7 title-clinching win. But, just as quickly as Ramey-Doe hit the holes, he lauded the unheralded stars up front for ripping open those running lanes.
“They got real nasty,” said the 6-foot 1-inch, 180-pound senior, whose three touchdown runs included a highlight-reel 91-yard breakaway to the end zone, snapping a 7-all tie in the second quarter.
Who were the guys who enabled Ramey-Doe to gash the Rockets?
Left to right, across the line: Left tackle Justin Roberts, left guard Mike Prendeville, center Jake Durkin, right guard Jack McDonald and right tackle Bill Breen. Ends Jameson McShea, a Temple recruit, and Mark McGuire added to BC High's toughness in the trenches.
Make no mistake. Running the football requires attitude. BC High (10-3) certainly had it.
The Eagles averaged a whopping 7.7 yards per carry. Ramey-Doe, Luke Catarius (10 carries for 87 yards), James Moynahan and Regan combined for 39 rushes.
BC High's quartet tallied 300 of the offense's 360 total yards.
“Our game plan coming in was to mix it up (with the run and pass),” said BC High head coach Jon Bartlett, whose team led at halftime, 14-7. “We felt in the second half, we could establish the run more, so that's what we went to.”
Helping the head coach make that decision was the fact BC High lacked rhythm in the passing game.
So, Bartlett sent this message as the Eagles started the second half: Keep pounding the ball on the ground.
Those are words every offensive lineman loves to hear.
“It's the best feeling, just knowing that your running back can hit that hole and has open field in front of him,” said McDonald, a towering 6-foot-4, 270-pound junior. “There's nothing better than that.”
Case in point: Ramey-Doe's dagger 91-yard run.
Backed up at their 9-yard line after Andrew Murowchick's punt temporarily altered field position, the Eagles ran a shotgun draw. Ramey-Doe cut to McDonald's side of the line, where a gaping hole opened.
BC High's burner accelerated through it and raced down the right sideline. Ronnie Rosser nearly made a shoestring tackle 4 yards from the end zone. But Ramey-Doe fell forward across the goal line.
The offensive line continued to help kill clock in the third quarter. The Eagles orchestrated a 13-play drive over a span of six minutes, 40 seconds.
“We were all disappointed last year, not going to the playoffs,” said Breen, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior. “I know our whole team spent a lot of time in the weight room.”
It paid off.
Needham (9-4) routinely shifted along the defensive line. Yet, when the ball was snapped, the Eagles were routinely in position to provide a massive push.
“It's all attitude,” Breen said. “You have to want it.”