SOMERSET, Mass. – With two run-oriented attacks in Somerset-Berkley and Wareham squaring off on Saturday, you would’ve thought going in you count the number of combined passing attempts easily on one hand.
Neither the Blue Raiders nor the Vikings deviated from their game plans, but after being mired in a close game, it was in fact a passing play that helped S-B along to a 35-14 win over Wareham.
On the final scrimmage play of the first half, Raiders quarterback Jack Amarantes hit running back Mike Garrant on a wheel route out of the backfield for a 35-yard touchdown play.
“I don’t know what the pass play was itself, but I knew they were playing with just the one high safety so we tried to take advantage of that,” S-B head coach Nick Freitas said.
Even though S-B (4-0) went to the locker room down 7-6, the tone carried over into the second half.
The Raiders started the third with the ball and promptly dialed up another big scoring play with Garrett Carlos running 63 yards to paydirt. On the ensuing Wareham (3-1) possession, Garrant grabbed a fumble recovery -- his second takeaway of the game after a first-quarter interception – and had the Raiders rolling again. Six plays later, Amarantes plunged into the end zone over right guard for an instant two-score lead.
S-B didn’t relent. It’s a tone that Freitas hoped to establish during practice last week leading up to the date with the explosive Vikings and Darien Fernandez (16 carries, 91 yards) calling.
“We probably had our best Thursday practice that we’ve had all season,” Freitas said. “The kids were flying around and having fun.”
In the early going, the Raiders have gone where their backfield tandem of Carlos and Garrant led them.
Carlos, who entered the game averaging over 10 yards per carry, kept up his torrid pace with 15 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to his momentum-shifting touchdown reception, Garrant also added 91 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Carlos and Garrant seem to pick up where the other leaves off in all ways, even during their postgame interviews. They alternated finishing each other’s thoughts, adding in a plug for the offensive line here and a shoutout to the coach staff there.
There are parallels to 2010, when S-B last claimed the Eastern Athletic Conference crown. That year, the Raiders ran behind Seth Demello and Jaron Spear to a Super Bowl appearance at Gillette Stadium.
While Carlos and Garrant both bring different elements to the Raiders offense than did their predecessors, the result might just be the same this year.
“I’m just worried about Dartmouth next week,” Freitas said, dousing any hype between another potential meeting between his team and Wareham at a later date.
He paused and then added, “They’re good. I think they’re a contender for the SCC.”
His players were aware of the circumstances, however.
“This is a team [Wareham] that a lot of people are saying is going to come out of the [South Coast Conference] as a winner, we’re trying to get out of the EAC, and that’s who we could possibly face,” Carlos said. “This game is huge and hopefully we’ll get to see them again this year.”