BROCKTON, Mass. -- Raise your hand if you had Brockton with two wins, and two hard-nosed, convincing victories, against two of the preseason favorites in the Catholic Conference.
Didn’t see too many hands raised outside of Rocky Marciano Stadium.
But that’s exactly where the Boxers find themselves after the first three weeks of the season. Brockton battered Xaverian last night in a 22-14 victory on the kickoff to the unveiling of the Rocky Marciano statue that will keep a watchful eye on the football team as they look to continue this turnaround season.
The Boxers shut out BC High and put on a balanced display against the scuffling Hawks to run its record to 2-1 on the season. Brockton was 0-4 against Catholic Conference competition last season.
“This month of September is tough, and it doesn’t get easier with (St. John’s Prep) next week,” said Boxers coach Peter Colombo. “We’ve got two wins against the Catholic Conference and it’s the best conference year-in-and-year-out in Eastern Mass. It’s a good way to start.”
BIG PLAYS FOR BOXERS
Colombo knows that his team is going to face opposing defenses that stack the box against the Boxers option-based offense. A run here to the outside, a dive up the middle and a couple toss sweeps will keep those defenses honest, but nothing allows the option to work best than a couple of big plays from the passing game.
That’s exactly what Colombo got in the second half.
Austin Roberts connected with Micah Morel twice in the second half, one from 38 yards out and one from 17 yards, to stay comfortably ahead of the Hawks. The scores came off of the same play, but the only wrinkle was that Morel lined up on the backside for the second score.
“We knew eventually the safeties were going to come down and bite (on the run),” said Morel. “It’s a play we’ve been working on for a long time, so it was good to finally pop it open.”
“We need that out of Micah too,” Colombo added. “We are expecting him to give us some offense this year. We’ve had people open in other games and we haven’t capitalized. They are up there, eight or nine in the box trying to stop the run and we’ve got to take the pressure off by throwing the ball and completing passes. Finally tonight we got a couple of big ones.”
It hasn’t been a great two weeks for the Hawks offense. They were held to 29 yards of total offense in the first half and only had 31 yards rushing, something that they went away from in the second half, for the game. It took two and a half quarters for Xaverian to pick up a first down.
Austin DeCarr threw two touchdown passes, but finished 12-of-32 for 97 yards, with 26 of those throws coming in the final two quarters.
The breaks just aren’t falling the Hawks way in a two-week span that saw them go 0-2 and fall to 1-2 on the year. The Boxers fumbled the ball four times in the first half, but Xaverian was only able to recover one with seconds remaining in the second quarter.
“We didn’t recover the football and that’s the way the ball bounces sometimes,” said Hawks head coach Charlie Stevenson. “They had some sustained drives in the first half and we had really miserable field position all half. We really had our hands tied because of the position we were in. That hurt.”
BROCKTON 22, XAVERIAN 14
Xaverian (1-2) 0 – 0 – 7 – 7 – 14
Brockton (2-1) 0 – 8 – 7 – 7- 22
B — Austin Roberts 3 run (Justin Ahanon rush)
B — Micah Morel 38 pass from Roberts (Levion Merian kick)
X — DJ Pagliuca 27 pass from Austin DeCarr (Kyle Darrow kick)
B — Morel 17 pass from Roberts (Ahanon kick)
X — Joe Denucci Jr. 10 pass from DeCarr (Darrow kick)