FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When sophomore Beverly backup quarterback Dave Rollins got the call to go into the game at the end of the first half to execute a reverse pass, he didn’t realize that his name was being called.
“With all the noise I couldn’t hear them,” Rollins said.” ‘Warm up’ they told me. I threw about three passes then they said, ‘Alright, get in there.’ We’ve practiced the play all year, but we ran it once before. First time, we ran it in the first game, but unfortunately we dropped it, but it was there. It’s a good play.”
Although the play had only been run once before during a game, it is in regular rotation during practice.
“Coach Dan [Bauer] has a term that he says every single play,” said Blake Sullivan who caught the pass from Rollins, “which is ‘black’. That means start over. I’d say 50-55 times every practice we hear ‘black’.
“To get that reverse pass, the Panther pass, was important,” Bauer said. “That gave us a breath of fresh air and it softened them up so we could throw a little bit more. We had the play in our back pocket, we weren’t sure how much we’d need to use it, but fortunately it worked when we needed it to.”
Flaherty scored four plays later on a 15-yard fade pass, jumping over two defenders to put Beverly within six with 59 seconds left in the first half.
Beverly stopped Somerset on the following drive to the end first half, the first play of the second drive and for the remainder of the game.
“Sticking to our keys and following our heart, that’s how we found the intensity to come back,” said George Kallas.
Coach Bauer credited Kallas with keeping the team in concert after their turbulent start, as well as leading them on the day.
“When we were 0-5, our seniors stepped up and stood true to each other. George [Kallas] was instrumental in keeping the team together and keeping us focused.”
Today, Kallas lined up across from Ian Levesque, who has an inch and five pounds on top of him, having to find something other than physicality to win the battle.
“He stayed high a little early, but once he got the feel of it, he took it as a personal challenge,” Bauer added. “Levesque is one of the premier linemen in the state, but so is George. “
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” added sophomore running back Brendan Flaherty. “We wouldn’t be here without that 0-5 start. It made us hungry for the rest of these wins. Facing the adversity in the beginning of the season helped us today; we didn’t get on each other so we could come back.”
“That’s the story of our season,” added junior Mark Giles of the day’s comeback win. “We’ve been doing this all year. No one believed in us when we were 0-5, people were probably down us when we were down in the first half. We don’t give up. This team doesn’t give up.
“We don’t give up.”