NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – 2:41
Those were the figures emblazoned on the scoreboard Saturday afternoon at New Bedford’s Walsh Field. The numbers surrounding it didn’t matter much.
What began as a competitive football game devolved into a showing of ill-will and hostility as the Duxbury and New Bedford coaching staffs convened near midfield to point fingers and hurl accusations at each other. There were two minutes, forty-one seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when the matchup between the No. 5 Dragons and Whalers was called.
Lost in the fray was another All-State worthy performance by Duxbury senior running back Jon Hurvitz. The shifty back tallied five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) while racking up 185 all-purpose yards. Hurvitz gained 140 of those yards on the ground on 28 carries.
Duxbury ran to a 28-7 lead at halftime, with Hurvitz scoring all four Dragons touchdowns. But the most telling aspect of the first half came in the teams’ interactions. Hits came fast and furious and, at times, in illegal forms. Play teetered on the envelope of acceptable football etiquette.
In total, six personal foul penalties were called against the Whalers, two against the Dragons.
“It was really chippy from the get-go,” Duxbury head coach Dave Maimaron said. “We kept telling our kids, ‘Nothing after the whistle.’”
To begin the second half, there was the unusual sight of both Maimaron and New Bedford head coach Dennis Golden present at the captains’ referee meeting.
But the mood only soured as Duxbury (3-0) added insurance points into the fourth quarter.
The hostilities came to a head with less than three minutes remaining in the game.
On a second-and-11 play, Dragons running back Colin Johnson ripped off a 30-plus yard run into the red zone. He was wrestled down inside by the 20-yard line on the backside pursuit of Whalers defensive back Jeffrey Fernandez. That’s where a personal foul penalty set in motion a series of events that resulted in the officials declaring the game final.
Fernandez was assessed a 15-yard personal foul penalty and ejected from the game, which drew the immediate ire of the Whalers’ sideline. An additional bench penalty was given as a New Bedford assistant coach accosted the referee after being asked to leave the playing field.
One play later, Duxbury increased its lead to 28 points. On the ensuing kickoff, the game spiraled into disorder.
While flying downfield on Duxbury’s kickoff coverage unit, junior Wes Quinzani was shaken up when he became entangled with a New Bedford blocker. Teammates and training staff attended to the injured player on New Bedford’s side of the field. Meanwhile, near midfield, the coaching staffs of both sides closed in on each other to within a few paces with expletives exchanged in both directions.
The game was then declared final.
When asked postgame about the tenor of the game and the officials’ ability to maintain competitive spirit of the game, Golden answered, “I have no comment on the officiating at all. Both teams were playing hard, both teams were playing with emotion and I’ll leave it at that.”
No handshakes were exchanged postgame. Duxbury’s players and staff returned to their buses behind the visitors’ side bleachers. New Bedford’s players huddled in an end zone.
On the scoreboard, the visitors’ column had 42, the Whalers had 14.
The Dragons had more points, but nobody won.