Boston High School: Bob O'Neill

BROCKTON, Mass. – Friday night’s duel between Division 1 South powers No. 6 Brockton and No. 19 BC High looked like a “Clash of the Titans” coming in.

No, it wasn’t the goofy sci-fi remake flick of the same name. This was the real deal. Two of the biggest, baddest offensive and defensive lines, respectively, going at it.

In all probability, there could be a rematch along the way in the section playoffs, but score Round 1 as a decision for the Boxers. Brockton controlled the point of attack on offense, allowing junior running back Kerry Raymond to run for 169 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown in a 31-17 win over the Eagles.

“I think the last two weeks – both weeks – I like the way we’re playing,” Boxers head coach Peter Colombo said. “We’re controlling the line of scrimmage and you saw Kerry, he’s a kid that’s just really learning how to run the football. He’s a horse and we’re going to ride him.”

BC High (2-2) claimed an early 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Jared Mockus. The lead would be the Eagles’ last and it was short-lived, however, as Raymond broke off a 50-yard touchdown run on the Boxers’ second play from scrimmage.

The long running plays kept coming for Brockton (3-1) in the second quarter, when Jonathan Deroulus took a sweep 69 yards for a score and a 14-3 lead with 6:33 to play in the half.

“Those were the frustrating plays, those long runs,” Eagles head coach Jon Bartlett said. “I’m proud of the guys for responding back, but still, we couldn’t get that stop when we needed it.”

BC High would get the seven points back before the half, as Sean Holleran (12 of 20, 142 yards) hit Nick Gill on a 43-yard scoring play just inside the 2-minute warning to make the score 14-10 at the half.

The Boxers’ running game again showed its big-play ability, as Brockton started the second half with the ball. A 52-yard run off a counter by Raymond set up quarterback Aaron Williams’ 1-yard touchdown on the fourth play from scrimmage.

On the ensuing Eagles’ drive, an Aaron Monteiro fumble recovery returned possession to the Boxers. And, once again, after taking over at the BC High 23-yard line, Brockton wasted no time scoring, but forced to settle for a Ryan Clifford 31-yard field goal.

The Eagles again made it a one-possession game, with fullback Stephen Timmins (9 carries, 72 yards) bruising his in for a 24-yard touchdown run, carrying several Boxers defensive backs with him across the goal line.

On Brockton’s ensuing drive, the Boxers turned in their big-play offense for a more plodding, methodical philosophy. It was equally successful on a 9-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in Williams’ second touchdown of the half, a 2-yarder with 8:45 remaining.

Putting up a front: While Brockton’s offensive line paved the way for another 100-yard game by Raymond, the Boxers’ defensive front was just as impressive.

Playing a deep rotation of situational run-stuffers and pass-rushers, Brockton kept it motor high in the face of a physical Eagles’ line.

“I’ve got great coaches on defense with Bob O’Neill and his crew,” Colombo said. “[Jason] Mosely and Chris Brennan coaches that D-line and those kids are well-coached. We get a rotation in there and that helps.”

Monteiro, the two-way lineman and Boston College commit, was a handful on the interior defensive line, while Ben Cowart, Jean Gelin (pass defended) and Dan Estrella (sack) all provided pressure in pursuit.

“We were flying around all game,” Monteiro said. “We did everything the coaches tell us to do – keep making contact, push forward, keep making bull rushes.”

On the flip side, the matchup also presented the tallest challenge for BC High. The Eagles, which boasts one of the state’s biggest offensive lines, were itching to see how they stacked up against another of the Commonwealth’s best units.

“This was a big game for us,” Bartlett said. “We want to get this program back on top and so this is a great way to do it. We’re disappointed because we lost. We thought how we played up front, we were able to handle them at times, they handled us at times. It was back-and-forth, but overall, we’ve got to get back up and respond next week.”

Recap: Brockton 38, New Bedford 9

November, 12, 2011
Austin RobertsScott Barboza/ESPNBoston.comRunning the option behind QB Austin Roberts, Brockton wrapped up the Big Three regular-season title with a 38-9 win at New Bedford.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- Although their postseason fate has yet to be determined, Brockton football can emerge from Saturday’s 38-9 thumping of Big Three rival New Bedford with a couple of certainties.

The first point is that junior quarterback Austin Roberts with 15 carries for 146 yards can shoulder the load, though that’s not all that much of a surprise at this point in the season. The second, and perhaps most encouraging sign, was that the Boxers’ defense was downright dominant in the second half, allowing the offense to score 29 unanswered points with the benefit of turnovers and tremendous field position.

That led Boxers head coach Peter Colombo to exclaim that his team had played their finest half of the season in an up-and-down kind of season.

“The defense allowed us to get our bearings and win this football game,” Colombo said. “It was just a tremendous job by the D.”

The Boxers (5-5, 2-0) spotted the Whalers (4-5, 0-1) an instant 9-0 lead with New Bedford’s defense coming up with a safety before quarterback Myles Medeiros took in a 1-yard touchdown run.

Brockton closed the gap with Roberts’ 48-yard bomb to Jerrod Shelby in the second quarter. Then, the Boxer defense made it first of a string of pivotal stops on defense, twice halting the Whalers from getting first downs inside the red zone in the final minute of the half. That kept the score within two points at the half.

“I think, momentum wise, it was huge. We don’t want to come back here, down a touchdown-plus.”

From there, the persistent thumping of Roberts in the ground game and the tenacious defense carried Brockton.

“I’ve never seen a quarterback have to the throw the ball away that much in a game,” Colombo said, “and that’s a credit to Bob O’Neill, our defensive coach, and the kids executing his game plan.”

The Boxers found success in the running game by repeatedly running the option behind Roberts, mixed in with the hard-nosed running of Richard Marsh and the highlight-reel flash of speedster Josh Brewster.

But it was the 5-10, 175-pound quarterback that frustrated the Whalers so. Roberts runs with a low center of gravity, making him hard to tackle. He also carries a running back’s mentality, often initiating contact with defenders and driving for extra yards past the initial hit.

“I just take whatever I’m given,” Roberts said.

With Brockton claiming the Big Three’s regular season title with Saturday’s win, the scenario for Brockton’s postseason prospectus is simple: they win, they’re in.

Having beaten the Whalers, all the Boxers have to do is beat 11-th ranked Bridgewater-Raynham in the team’s Thanksgiving Eve matchup. However, if the Boxers lose to the Trojans, they might not represent the conference in the playoffs, despite being league champions.

Nonsense you could say.

Well, opinions aside, the Big Three football league charter directs that the league’s playoff representative must have at least a. 500 record. So if the Boxers falter against B-R and dip to 5-6 on the season, the Whalers would be playing past Turkey Day, providing they win over Durfee.

“We can’t control anything that any other team does,” Whalers head coach Dennis Golden said. “We have to worry about playing the best Thanksgiving game that we can play … We’ll take it as it comes.”

With offensive playmakers Marcel DePina and Jaraud Wood leaving the game in the second half due to injuries and coupled with the copious amount of turnovers the Whalers committed on Saturday, they have other matters to worry about.

But, somehow, New Bedford might still live to play another day past Thanksgiving Day.


Brockton (5-5, 2-0) - 0 7 14 17 -- 38
New Bedford (4-5, 0-1) - 9 0 0 0 -- 9

1st quarter
NB - Safety
NB - Myles Medeiros 1-yard run (Mike Rapoza kick)

2nd quarter
B - Jerrod Shelby 48-yard pass from Austin Roberts (Lucas Depina kick)

3rd quarter
B - Roberts 26-yard run (Depina kick)
B - Richard Marsh 5-yard run (Depina kick)

4th quarter
B - Depina 42-yard pass from Paul Mroz (kick blocked)
B - Josh Brewster 1-yard run (Depina kick)
B - Lucas DePina 30-yard field goal