Boston High School: Brad Deluliis

The View from No. 3 Bridgewater-Raynham

November, 3, 2011
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. --Simply stated, No. 3 Bridgewater-Raynham is viewing Friday night's Old Colony League clash with Barnstable as a one-game playoff.

After beating the Red Raiders at home last year, the Trojans will travel to the Cape with Barnstable looking to repay the favor.

We caught up with the Trojans' captains after Thursday's practice:

OL/DL Eric DeMoura

QB Brad DeIuliis

RB/LB Branden Morin

RB/LB Nick Schlatz

Recap: No. 8 B-R 27, La Salle (R.I.) 16

October, 15, 2011

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – No. 7 Bridgewater-Raynham has a lot to worry about in the coming weeks, with a Top 10 matchup against Xaverian next week and Old Colony League play set to start. So Trojans head coach Dan Buron was concerned that his team was looking past top-ranked Rhode Island squad La Salle Academy on Saturday afternoon.

The Trojans shook off their slow start, however, storming back with three scores in the second quarter while handing the Rams their first loss of the season, 27-16.

“I think that’s a good quality win for us because that’s a good, tough football team,” Buron said.

B-R (5-1) spotted La Salle (5-1) a 3-0 lead largely on field position in the first quarter with Peter Picerelli drilling a 41-yard field goal.

The Trojans began to assert their will in the ground game on the ensuing drive, capping off an 11-play 80-yard drive on quarterback Brad Deluliis’ 3-yard touchdown run with 6:15 remaining in the half.

The Rams took the lead back promptly with fullback Martin Bannerman rumbling 49-yards up the middle of the field on a gut trap for a touchdown.

Just 18 seconds later, the Trojans broke off a big play of their own with Nick Schlatz hitting the corner and striding 64 yards to the end zone.

“We played good in spurts, but you can’t do that against these guys,” La Salle head coach Geoff Marcone said. “If you play good in spurts, you’re going to lose the game. That’s what happened. They’re a good football team and we just didn’t give a good effort today.”

B-R struck again before the half was out. As time expired, kicker Kevin Wadsworth rolled left on bootleg off a fake field goal. The Rams had the trick play almost perfectly defended, but Wadsworth found Brendan Page with a 4-yard pass on the flick of a wrist for a 21-10 Trojan lead.

“We called that and then I was going to call a timeout if it wasn’t there, and I just said the heck with it,” Buron said. “The kid that caught the ball [Page] was supposed to be blocking, but thank god he did. He made a nice catch.

“He was like the third option on that play, not even, he wasn’t really an option, but it worked out.”

After a scoreless third quarter, La Salle made it a one-possession game on Josh Morris’ 5-yard touchdown run on an option left. After the two-point conversion failed, the B-R lead was down to five.

Then, the Trojans running game took over once again.

Branden Morin had five straight carries to finish off a 9-play drive that bled nearly four minutes off the clock and exhausted all of the Rams’ timeouts.

B-R junior Matt Petty astutely recovered the ensuing kickoff on a squib kick, putting the game out of reach.

The Trojans receiver another solid performance from senior captain Nick Schlatz who racked up 135 yards on 23 carries.

But even when Schlatz wasn’t able to go on the Trojans’ final drive, Morin proved a more than adequate replacement. Morin chipped in 11 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown, spelling Schlatz and creating a viable 1-2 punch.

“Nick Schlatz was a little dinged up [on the last drive] and Branden Morin stepped up,” Buron said. “[Fullback] Stevie Wentworth blocked well and Eric Wabrek does a great job of blocking, too.”

It was an encouraging sign ahead of the Trojans’ date with No. 5 Xaverian next week, which will pit B-R strength against a large, physical Hawks defensive line.

La Salle entered the game as our top-ranked Ocean State team at No. 7 in the ESPN Boston New England football poll.

At times, the Rams delivered on their top-billing, with Morris (16 car., 84 yards) showing flashes of the brilliance he’s shown against in-state opponents this year.

“He’s a big-play player,” Marcone said of Morris. He can grind it out, but he make big plays happen for you, too. I’m a little biased in this opinion, but he’s one of the best backs in our state. Hopefully, by the end of the year, he’ll be the best.”

For the most part, the Rams were effective in their ability to shoot the gaps against the Trojans’ traps and counter runs. Senior middle linebacker and de facto captain of the defense Marcanthony Reynoso also put on a tackling clinic.

But, in the end, it came down to consistency.

“Every time we seemed to get momentum, there was a penalty, or we fumbled the ball, or there was a bad snap,” Marcone said.

B-R (5-1) 0 21 0 6 -- 27
La Salle (5-1) 3 7 0 6 -- 16

1st quarter
LS – Peter Picerelli 41-yard field goal

2nd quarter
B-R – Brad Deluliis 3-yard run (Kevin Wadsworth kick)
LS – Martin Bannerman 49-yard run (Picerelli kick)
B-R – Nick Schlatz 64-yard run (Wadsworth kick)
B-R – Wadsworth 4-yard pass to Brendan Page (Wadsworth kick)

4th quarter
LS – Josh Morris 5-yard touchdown run (Pass failed)
B-R – Branden Morin 4-yard run (Kick blocked)

Recap: No. 13 B-R 28, Marshfield 15

September, 24, 2011
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – If what usually works isn’t working, try something different.

It’s not as though Dan Buron all of sudden will transform Bridgewater-Raynham’s offense into a high-flying spread attack. However, the Trojans’ 28-15 win over Marshfield on Saturday afternoon was proof positive that B-R can mix things up. Instead of the Trojans’ meat and potatoes rushing attack running up the gut, Buron spread the Rams thin, rolling out a series of three and four wide-out formations.

After a shaky start, No. 13 B-R (2-1) turned in perhaps its best overall performance of the young season.

“After the first series, I think we settled down,” Buron said. “I think we played better on both sides of the ball. The kids settled down.”

The Rams (1-2) embarked on a 14-play drive off of the opening kickoff and scored 7:45 later on Mark Pomella’s 31-yard pass to Bryan Mey. The 6-0 advantage was the last lead Marshfield held, as the Trojans would go on to score on three straight possessions from the first into the second quarter.

“That’s how we play football,” Trojans running back and linebacker Nick Schlatz said. “B-R football’s all about the driving the ball down the field, finishing drives and then getting the ball back and doing the same exact thing over again.”

Eric Wabrek put B-R ahead with two touchdown carries on back-to-back drives with runs of three and six yards.

Branden Morin added a 2-yard touchdown run for a 21-6 lead before Marshfield’s Brendan Doherty hit a 38-yard field goal to make it 21-9 at the half.

Schlatz again made it a three-possession game with a 2-yard run with 32 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

However, it was the senior captain’s contributions as a decoy that proved key to B-R success. After the Trojans had trouble establishing the running game on their first possession of the game, Buron started flexing Schlatz out to wide receiver, drawing the attention of the Rams’ defense. Oftentimes with a double-team devoted to Schlatz on the wing, B-R found greater success on the ground with Morin and quarterback Brad Deluliis running the ball.

“We’ve been doing it a little the last couple of years … with [Brad] Deluliis, Mike Connolly and even Billy Zolga last year, we spread it out and threw a little bit more,” Buron said. “But now what we’ve done is split Nick Schlatz out there and then we have Arcel Armstead, who’s a pretty good running back, too, on the other side, so people have to worry about them because they’re good receivers, too.”

Not exactly by the book in B-R’s terms, but it certainly was effective.

Not only did Buron mix things up, he also felt his team has improved with each passing week, commenting that last week was the Trojans’ best week of practice. That was evident in the play of B-R’s young offensive line, which took its lumps in a Week 1 loss to No. 2 Duxbury, but was a strength on the whole on Saturday.

“Each week, we’re getting a little bit better,” Buron said, “with a young offensive line, I think we got shell-shocked [in the Duxbury game].”

About Saturday’s performance, Buron added, “That group hung in there, we were lucky to survive that first game, but they’ve gotten better.”

After moving Schlatz out of the backfield, Marshfield wasn’t able to key on the bruising back running up the middle. It also freed quarterback Deluliis to air out the ball some, while also allowing him to find some running room.

“They were loading up,” Buron said. “They took away what we do best, or what we think we can do best.”

It also enable Deluliis to show off his athleticism. Not to mention, it got him into the flow of the game.

“He seems to play better when he’s more involved in the offense, instead of just handing off,” Buron said of his senior signal-caller. “Now, he’s more involved and working up a sweat, if you will, he just seems to respond to that.”

Buron praised the work of Wabrek, the senior running back and inside linebacker.

Not only did Wabrek score B-R’s first two touchdowns with some hard-nosed, goal-line running, he set up the Trojans’ first scoring drive with a heady interception, slipping underneath an out pattern.

“He was injured some of last season and he’s not one of our captains, but Eric’s a smart player and brings us some leadership,” Buron said. “He was one of our game captains for today and he showed the type of player that he is.”