Boston High School: Kristian Lucashensky

D2 South: Barnstable 48, Marshfield 29

November, 2, 2013
11/02/13
12:12
AM ET
HYANNIS, Mass. -– Blink and you might miss it.

That sums up the opening minutes of the Division 2 South matchup between Marshfield and Barnstable.

The Red Raiders scored two touchdowns in the first six plays from scrimmage, and never looked back, going on to knock off Marshfield 48-29.

Junior running back Justus Chaffee set the tone early, breaking out a 49-yard touchdown scamper on the fourth play of the game. Two plays later, senior Hayden Murphy picked off Rams quarterback Jack Masterson and returned it to the house to give the home squad a 14-0 lead less than three minutes in.

“Our starters performed well,” said Barnstable head coach Chris Whidden. “We saw this team before and we were pretty well-prepared and they executed.”

Marshfield had no answer for the Raiders duo of Chaffee and Murphy. The two combined for 339 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns. And they owe it all to their offensive line that had their way to the Marshfield front four.

“Our line dominated from the first snap,” said Murphy. “We were able to run the ball like we wanted to. I give all the credit to the line, they did a fantastic job.”

After turnovers by both teams, Masterson directed a nine-play, 85-yard drive midway through the second quarter and scored on a 10-yard scramble to make it a game again, but it was all Barnstable after that.

Hayden Murphy scored on touchdown runs of seven and one yard to give Barnstable a 28-7 lead going into the half.

Whatever adjustments that were made at the half didn’t work either as Clyde Perry picked off Masterson’s pass on the second play of the third quarter and returned it to the Rams 7-yard line, setting up Kristian Lucashensky’s seven yard scoring run.

“We got beat up on both sides of the ball plus the turnovers,” Rams coach Lou Silva said. “That’s not a good formula. You can’t do that in these types of games.”

Holding a 35-7 lead early in the third quarter, the Raiders run game took over, and more importantly kept the clock running. A 50-yard punt return from Derek Estes down to the Marshfield 1-yard line set up Murphy’s fourth touchdown of the game.

Marshfield needed a miracle and caught a glimmer of hope. The Rams special teams blocked two punts giving them the ball deep in Red Raider territory but were only able to capitalize on one drive, a 14-yard hookup between Frank Catamoso and Masterson.

That’s when Chaffee took it upon himself to crush all hopes of a comeback when he broke loose for a 49-yard scoring run. The shifty 5-foot-7 back ran into the pile and somehow came out on the other end looking like he was shot out of a canon.

The Murphy-Chaffee show: Murphy ran 196 yards on 20 carries. Chaffee added another 145 on 11 carries. Six touchdowns, an interception and a big third down sack.

Marshfield simply had no answer for the two seniors. The pistol offense that the Red Raiders run compliments both runners. With the windy conditions both teams had to tweak their game plans a bit. But Barnstable picked a good time to have their best run game of the year.

“It doesn’t happen if Chaffee isn’t as dynamic as he was,” Whidden said. “I cant over estimate the effect that Justus has. When Justus runs like he did today, now all of a sudden they have to key Justus just as much as they do Hayden.”

The Raiders offense is very balanced and will give defensive coordinators fits. Try to take away one tailback, the other will get you. Sell out against the run game, and Lucashensky will make you pay.

Which leads us to our next point...

Can we just fast-forward to next week? “Every time you win, your reward is a tougher challenge.”

Whidden’s words couldn’t be any more accurate. Next week, Troy Flutie and company come to town. Pass-happy Natick will make the trip to meet Derek Estes’ pass defense.

There is no easy matchup in this loaded Division 2 South bracket. The Raiders defense will be put to the test against this high-octane offense.

Estes is one of the top coverage cornerbacks in the state, and leads a stingy defense that doesn’t like seeing the ball thrown on them.

Murphy is looking forward to the challenge. “How do you prepare for Flutie? We’ll work on that tomorrow. I’m confident we can beat any team in the state.”

Whidden is just as confident. “If we put our best foot forward, we can play with anybody.”

No matter the outcome, the game will not disappoint.



No. 7 Barnstable 48, Marshfield 29
M 0 7 7 15 -- 29
B 14 14 13 7 -- 48


First Quarter
B - Justus Chaffee 49 run (kick fail), 9:24
B - Hayden Murphy 35 interception return (Derek Estes pass from Kristian Lucashensky), 8:34

Second Quarter
M - Jack Masterson 10 run (Aaron Skulky kick), 5:58
B - Murphy 7 run (kick failed), 4:04
B - Murphy 1 run (Mike Bilodeau pass from Lucashensky), 0:00

Third Quarter
B - Lucashensky 7 run (rush failed), 9:26
B - Murphy 1 run (Dereck Pacheco kick), 6:20
M - Masterson 6 run (Skulky kick), 2:13

Fourth Quarter
M - Frank Caranoso 14 pass from Masterson (Skulky kick), 5:15
B - Chaffee 49 run (Pacheco kick), 4:19
M - Jacob Maher 17 pass from Troy Rodrigues (Jeff Keans pass from Rodrigues), 0:06

Recap: No. 9 Barnstable 20, No. 8 B-R 14

October, 19, 2013
10/19/13
3:38
AM ET


BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – It’s called the smart money, and if Barnstable football minted its own currency, it would read: “In Hayden Murphy We Trust,” as Red Raiders senior quarterback Kristian Lucashensky put it Friday night.

Facing a fourth-and-1 at Bridgewater-Raynham’s 48-yard line with a little more than a minute remaining in another Old Colony league classic, there was a debate on Barnstable’s sideline. The initial play call in the huddle during the Red Raiders’ timeout was for a pass play. But, instead, they went to what was reliable.

In looking to move the chains and living to see another play, Barnstable found its salvation with its gold-standard play, with Murphy taking the cut-back on an inside zone run 48 yards to the end zone, providing the game-winning score in a 20-14 comeback win.

“That’s our basic run play, we probably ran it fifteen times today,” Red Raiders head coach Chris Whidden said. “Yeah, we’re just trying to get the first down because we only had a minute left and one timeout, so we had to get the first down and stop the clock. ... Guys up front made the block and Hayden saw that cut-back lane and he’s tough to catch in the open field.”

Murphy was held relatively in check through the first half, but collected 90 of his 123 rushing yards (14 carries) in the second half. After spying on the 6-foot-2, 205-pound back through the first half, Murphy found enough separation in the second half to run for two scores, including the game-changer.

Barnstable (5-1, 1-0 OCL) engineered its game winning drive after taking over on its own 22 with 2:43 remaining. Lucashensky was at his best on the drive, completing all four passes for 29 yards, giving the Red Raiders a shot at the end zone.

However, when Barnstable was fortunate enough to recover a fumble on a third-down play at its 49, and after a 3-yard run by Murphy, the Red Raiders were faced with a fourth-and-1.

“We’ve got a lot of strong, big bodies up front that we have a lot of faith in,” Whidden said, “and we feel like, if we need a yard, we’re going to be able to get it, no matter how many guys you bring in the box.

He continued, “We leave one guy unblocked and that’s Kristian [Lucashensky’s] job to read him and, he saw the give. I don’t know if he made the right read or not, not until I see the film, but based on the final score, I’ll give him the read for tonight.”

Barnstable’s offense sputtered in the early going, with the Trojans (4-2, 1-1) forcing a fumble, an interception and a turnover on downs through the Red Raiders’ first three offensive series. Conversely, B-R claimed the first lead of the game on Brandon Gallagher’s 10-yard touchdown run at 2:43 of the first quarter.

The Red Raiders came back to tie it in the second quarter, when Justus Chaffee (6 carries, 59 yards) ripped off a 23-yard touchdown run for a 6-6 score, after the teams’ respective 2-point and point-after tries failed.

B-R regained the lead just before the half with Matt Clement’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Mike Murano. Clement (12 of 16, 121 yards, TD, INT) followed with a successful 2-point conversion throw to Arcel Armstead for a 14-6 lead in the final minute of the second quarter.

Barnstable emerged rejuvenated for the second half, forcing B-R three-and-out for its first possession and then embarking on an 82-yard touchdown drive. Murphy tallied his first touchdown of the game with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter on a 29-yard run. The following 2-point conversion again failed, however, so the Red Raiders still trailed 14-12.

The teams traded possessions through the early fourth quarter, but the Red Raiders defense continued to hold. Two of B-R’s second half possessions resulted in three-and-outs. That was no small part in due to Barnstable’s run defense which slowed Gallagher (24 carries, 100 yards) just enough, surrendering just 46 combined yards on the ground in the final half.

Same ole bitter end: For the third straight year, Barnstable claimed victory over B-R – and each of those decisions has come in dramatic fashion, including last year’s 27-25 classic with the Trojans falling a missed 2-point conversion shy of forcing overtime.

For the Trojans, let make no bones about it, it’s been rough. These haven’t just been losses, they’re of the gut-wrenching variety. Friday was no exception, with Murphy playing an all-too-familiar role.

“You kinda’ knew he was going to get the ball at that point,” B-R head coach Dan Buron said of Murphy’s game-winning score. “They made the play, we didn’t.”

Yet, for Barnstable’s success when the chips were on the table, the Trojans couldn’t have scripted their start any better. Spurred by a fumble recovery by Devin Morris and a interception from Theo Barbetto on Barnstable’s first two possessions, B-R also took care of the interior gaps in the running game, minimizing Murphy’s impact through the first 22 minutes.

“They did a really good job bottling [Murphy] up all night,” Whidden said. “He didn’t have a lot of space and he didn’t really have a chance to get to that second gear.

“They were spying Hayden, they had a guy going with Hayden the whole time. We wanted to see the look they would give us if we put Hayden outside, and they covered him with a guy over the top. In that case, we have enough faith in Justus [Chaffee] to carry the ball.”

Bring on the closer: On the flip side, the Red Raiders defense has held up its part of the bargain. Barnstable hasn’t surrendered a second-half score since the third quarter of its 15-14 comeback win over Xaverian on Sept. 27.

Once again, the Red Raiders slammed the door shut, with midseason All-State candidate Derek Estes grabbing an interception on the Trojans’ final play.

“I think they’re one of the best defenses in the state,” Lucashensky said. “They always shut out teams in the second half. We trust them.”

Leftover quick-hit thoughts from the weekend

September, 30, 2013
9/30/13
12:38
PM ET
Some leftover quick-hit thoughts from last weekend's action of football:

1a. If St. John's Prep running back Johnathan Thomas -- who left the second half of Saturday's game against Everett with a knee injury -- is out for any extended period of time, the Eagles might be in trouble. Much of the offense funnels through Thomas, and with plays like this it's easy to see why. In my 10 years covering high school football in Massachusetts, I have no problem saying he is the best I've ever seen.

If there's a silver lining, it's that this could open things up for two promising juniors on the perimeter, receiver Owen Rocket and tight end Jake Burt. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Burt has a high ceiling of potential, even drawing comparisons to Prep legend Jon Loyte, and has been a matchup problem in the short to intermediate passing game thus far. Rocket is a smooth route-runner, able to weave in and out of traffic and exploit coverage holes.

You obviously cannot replace a special kid like Thomas, but perhaps this could make the Eagles more unpredictable.

1b. It now bears asking. If Thomas -- who seemed to be running away with the ESPN Boston Mr. Football award at his current clip -- is out for the considerable future, is the race for title of the state's best player wide open again? Lots of names to consider here, most notably Springfield Central quarterback Cody Williams, Natick quarterback Troy Flutie, Leominster quarterback Neil O'Connor, Plymouth South running back Dylan Oxsen, and Millis/Hopedale two-way lineman Jon Baker.

2. An historic year for Mansfield continues to get better, as they ascend to the No. 1 spot in our statewide poll for the first time in our four seasons of coverage. As impressive as the North Attleborough win was, the upset of Baltimore-area powerhouse Dunbar continues to strengthen with the passing weeks. As Dave Redding points out on Mansfield football's website, (www.mansfieldfootball.org) since losing to Mansfield on Sept. 6, the Poets have won three straight outscored their opposition 136-18.

3a. If you missed the thrilling conclusion to the Fitchburg-St. John's of Shrewsbury battle on Saturday afternoon, you missed one of the best endings to a high school football game in years. Fitchburg quarterback Darius Flowers hit Manny Payton for a 16-yard touchdown strike with 13 seconds to go, then tailback Julio Gonzalez ran in the two-point try to give the Red Raiders a 15-14 lead. The ensuing kickoff, a high-hopping squib, was then returned 65 yards to the house by Mike McGillicuddy for walk-off 20-15 Pioneers win.

I'm not sure Fitchburg has endured a special teams heartbreak like that since the 1994 Division 1 Super Bowl, when North Middlesex pulled off a Boise State-esque fake punt for the 50-yard game-winning touchdown run, a play forever known in Central Mass. folklore as simply the "Norman Special".

3b. If there's anything to take away from that game, besides the incredible gumption of McGillicuddy, it's that much like Barnstable in Division 2 South, Fitchburg is not a team you want to draw in the first round of Division 2 Central action. Their defensive front four is impressive, and they controlled the line of scrimmage against St. John's for much of the afternoon.

4. There's a lot of talk early in the ISL season about running backs and linebackers, but keep an eye on Belmont Hill junior quarterback Harry Kraft. He had a field day on Saturday in a 38-11 win over Groton, completing 17 of 27 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns, and running in a fifth score.

5. A year ago, I mentioned the Cape & Islands area as an area of particular interest for under-the-radar talent, with a number of prospects earning Division 1 roster spots: Nantucket's Terrel Correia (UMass), Nauset's Derrick and Nathan Holmes (Rhode Island) and Dakota Girard (Brown), Mashpee's Jordan Keli'inui and Zak Orcutt (UMass), Dennis-Yarmouth's Joe Tyo (UMass) and Barnstable's Nick Peabody (Princeton), Andrew Ellis (UMass) and D.J. Crook (Penn State).

The Cape appears to be brewing again. Barnstable receiver/cornerback Derek Estes is one of the state's breakout stars of the first half of the season, making back-breaking plays on both sides of the ball in upsets of BC High and Xaverian. Two of his teammates, running back/safety Hayden Murphy and quarterback Kristian Lucashensky, deserve some praise for the way they've improved since the season-opening rout by D-Y.

Further down Route 6, keep an eye on two prospects from the lowest classification of MIAA football, Division 6. Defending D5 Super Bowl champ Upper Cape Tech is looking good with its flex offense, and at the forefront is Jon Dumont, who had 26 carries for 216 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday's win over Nantucket. At Pope John Paul II, they might have one of the most unheralded 2015 prospects in quarterback Ryan Barabe. Through four games the 6-foot-4, 175-pound Yarmouth resident is among the state's most efficient passers, completing 68 percent of his throws for 776 yards and eight touchdowns to just one interception. A good chunk of the Lions' plays involve option routes for their receivers, which to me demonstrates a lot of maturity when you consider Barabe's completion percentage.

Recap: Barnstable 15, No. 1 Xaverian 14

September, 28, 2013
9/28/13
12:58
AM ET


HYANNIS, Mass. – Trailing 14-12 to No. 1 Xaverian and facing a fourth-and-5 from the Hawks 15-yard line with less than two minutes to go, Chris Whidden had a choice: try to pick up the first down or trot out his place kicker for a 32-yard field goal try.

Barnstable place kicker Dereck Pacheco had already missed an extra point and a 28 yard attempt. And so the Red Raiders head coach called timeout and brought on his field goal unit.

Seconds later, the Red Raider faithful erupted as the 32-yard field goal split the uprights and proved to be the game winner in an emotional 15-14 comeback victory over No. 1 Xaverian, the fourth consecutive week that the top ranked team has been upset.

“Kicking to me, I learned from last year, is all about confidence,” said Pacheco. “You have to have confidence in yourself, just clear your mind.“

Barnstable quarterback Kristian Lucashensky had the team on his back in the fourth quarter, throwing for 90 of his 138 yards in the final period.

“This win has changed the morale of the team completely,” said Whidden. “Going back to BC High, once the opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown our morale was down. We have seen a change in what this team is about and you can see that in the last seven and a half quarters.”

Xaverian (2-1) scored with 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter after A.J. King came down with a 33-yard pass from Jake Ferrell (4 of 9, 99 yards), setting up a 5-yard touchdown run from senior Shayne Kaminski, giving the Hawks a 14-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

But it was all Hayden Murphy (13 rushes, 51 yards; 4 catches, 50 yards) and Lucashensky after that.

Barnstable answered with a 10-play 69-yard drive that was capped off with an athletic 15-yard touchdown catch from Derek Estes. Lucashensky fumbled on the two point conversion and the score remained 14-12 with 6:38 remaining.

“With Kristian, he’s so good with putting the ball in a spot where it going to be caught or incomplete,” said Whidden. “Estes went up and made a play.”

The Red Raiders defense rose to the occasion and forced the Hawks to punt, giving Barnstable the ball at their own 39 with 2:21 left to play.

Two plays later, Lucashensky hit senior Colby Blaze down the right sideline for a 39-yard gain down to the Xaverian 15-yard line. Barnstable picked up five yards before calling on Pacheco for the game winning field goal.

Meanwhile, Kaminski was a force all game, rushing for a game-high 135 yards on 20 carries. He drew first blood with 4:16 remaining in the second quarter when he was on the receiving end of a 54-yard screen pass.

The Hawks got a scare midway though the fourth quarter when Kaminski stayed down after a three-yard rush. Kaminski limped off the field under his own power but the following two plays resulted in fumbles and the drive ended with a punt.

The turning point: With 1:28 remaining in the second quarter and already up 7-0, the Hawks A.J. King fair caught a punt at his own 19-yard line. On the next play, Kaminski coughed up the football and the Red Raiders recovered at the 25-yard line.

On the next play, Lucashensky found Colby Blaze on a deep slant across the middle so give the Raiders some life heading into the half.

“It swung momentum going into halftime,” said Whidden. “Our halftime was full of life and the kids were excited.

While Xaverian had the only scoring in the third quarter, the Raiders defense had a jump in their step. On a punt midway through the third quarter, Junior Clyde Perry broke through the line and partially blocked a punt.

The defense forced two fumbles in the fourth quarter and while they didn’t recover, stalled out the Hawks offense. Xaverian only mustered up 26 yard off offense in the final quarter (266 in first three quarters), compared to 114 from the Red Raiders.

The Hawks were uncharacteristically sloppy all game. Xaverian had two turnovers and put the ball on the ground three times. They were also called for six penalties for 50 yards, including a big pass interference call on the opening drive and a huge personal foul on the Raiders first possession of the fourth quarter.

The final drive: With the opportunity to knock off the top team in the state for the second year in a row (Everett, 2012), Lucashensky took the field like it was any other drive.

When he stepped into the huddle trailing 14-12 on his own 39-yard line and 2:21 to play he calmly addressed his teammates.

“On the first play, I came to the huddle and said ‘listen, we got to win this game, got to win this game,” said Lucashensky. “They all looked me in the eye and shook their heads.”

Lucashensky called his own number on the first play, picking up two yards. On second and 8, he found Blaze who had his man beat for a 39 -yard gain, already in field goal range.

“We had run that earlier with Blaze and got him over the top, said Lucashensky. “So we knew if we needed a big play we’d come back to it. And we went over the top of the safety and I rolled out and hit him. He was wide open.”

Barnstable went conservative for the next three plays. Hayden Murphy rushed up the middle for two, an incomplete screen pass and Murphy to the left for three set up fourth and 5.

“We ran the toss because he likes to kick from the left hash,” said Whidden. “We ran the toss and if he (Murphy) broke he broke it if not were on the left hash for him to kick it.”

Pacheco split the uprights on the next play to polish off the perfect drive and improve Barnstable to 2-1 with New Bedford up next.

Perfect time for a bye: When Barnstable’s schedule was released this summer, Chris Whidden was unsure how a Week 2 bye week would effect his. As it turns out, that bye week seems to have saved the Red Raiders season.

The Raiders were dismantled by Dennis-Yarmouth, 37-9, in Week 1 and BC High returned the opening kickoff back for a touchdown in week three. Since then, Barnstable has been a different team.

“The bye week let us get back to square one to really break down what wasn’t working and why it wasn’t working,” said Whidden. “And we had film to prove it. That bye couldn’t have come at a better time.

Coming off two huge victories, teams will be gunning for Barnstable, starting next week at New Bedford. With Friday night’s win, the Raiders will almost certainly jump back into the Top 25 poll.

“It puts a target on our back just like we had one last year,” said Lucashensky. “Now its back, a big fat bull’s-eye.”

Barnstable 15, Xaverian 14

X 0 7 7 0 --14

B 0 6 0 9 --15

Second Quarter

X-Shayne Kaminski 54 pass from Jake Farrell (Matt Rogers kick) 4:16

B-Colby Blaze 25 pass from Lucashensky (kick fail) 1:17

Third Quarter

X-Kaminski 5 run (Rogers Kick) 0:10

Fourth Quarter

B-Derek Estes 15 pass from Lucashensky (run fail) 6:38

B-Dereck Pacheco 32 field goal 1:28

 

Recap: Barnstable 20, BC High 13

September, 21, 2013
9/21/13
12:11
AM ET
DORCHESTER, Mass. -- Barnstable senior running back Hayden Murphy ran for more than 100 yards, and quarterback Kristian Lucashensky threw two touchdown passes to lead the Red Raiders to a come-back 20-13 victory over the BC High Eagles on Friday night at James Cotter Field.

Barnstable fell behind by two touchdowns early in the second quarter, but bounced back to score 20 unanswered points for a much-needed victory.

“We showed some tremendous resiliency. I’m so proud of our kids,” Barnstable head coach Chris Whidden said.

BC High senior Ismail Asongwed returned the opening kickoff of the game 97 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead before there was even a single play from the line of scrimmage.

On the first play of the second quarter, BC High (1-2) extended its lead to 13-0 when senior Robert Harnais punched it in from a yard out. That score was set up by a 68-yard run by quarterback Sean Holleran late in the first quarter.

The Eagles were in complete control of the line of scrimmage and seemed to be in total control physically. However, the tides turned and Barnstable took over on the road.

“We had all the momentum. We were playing hard, but then we didn’t tackle. Some of it is on us, some of it is Barnstable,” BC High head coach Joe Gaff said.

Murphy cut the lead to 13-7 when he scored on a 43-yard touchdown run with 7:09 to play in the first half. It was the first offensive touchdown of the season for the Red Raiders.

Barnstable had a chance to score again with under a minute to play in the first half, but couldn’t convert on four attempts inside the Eagles 10-yard line.

BC High looked to add to its lead in the third quarter, but a holding penalty nullified a long Holleran run on what appeared to be a promising drive.

“It was the third straight game where a mistake cost us. We went from down on their 15 up six to deep in our own end and they got the ball back and went up,” said Gaff.

Barnstable got the ball back and didn’t waste much time in taking its first lead of the game, when Lucashensky threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Derek Estes.

Lucashensky and Estes connected on another score in the fourth quarter to give the Red Raiders a seven-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.

BC High had a chance to practice its two-minute drill, but after driving to the Barnstable 20, the Eagles could not finish the deal.

After a season opening loss to Dennis-Yarmouth, Barnstable bounced back to even its record at 1-1.

“For us, at this point in the season, getting a win was so important after how down we were two weeks ago,” said Whidden. “Now the kids believe we can beat anyone.”

Whidden credited the improvement from one game to the next by emphasizing the team’s belief in each other. Another big reason was the play of Murphy and Lucashensky. Both players drew praise from the opposition’s coach.

“Murphy had a great game,” Gaff said. “He’s a good running back, and of course their quarterback didn’t play in their first game.”

The road won’t get any easier for the Eagles as they next face Brockton after a bye week.

Notes: The Eagles recovered two Barnstable turnovers -- one interception and one fumble.
Communication is paramount to the defensive secondary.

For Barnstable cornerback Derek Estes and safety Hayden Murphy, it’s almost involuntary. It’s borne out of spending a lot of time together: watching film, playing ball, hanging out. When I caught up with the pair for this story, after a recent morning preseason practice, Estes and Murphy were hanging out watching the latest installment of the Jason Bourne saga.

“I look at Hayden and he can read off my decisions and pick me up when I need a cover over the top,” Estes said.

To which Murphy added, “I’m Derek’s last line of defense, not that he doesn’t hold it down because he’s pretty good at what he does, but he knows I’ve his back, too.”

It reflects a certain level of cohesion that’s found with Barnstable’s program since Chris Whidden, who’s also the Red Raiders lacrosse head coach, became head coach three years ago.

Last year, the Red Raiders fell painfully short of winning the Eastern Mass. Division 1A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, losing by a point to Everett, after snapping the Crimson Tide’s 28-game winning streak earlier in the year with an overtime victory.

Barnstable isn’t interested in being a flash in the pan, however. The impetus is to push the program forward.

“My point to the kids is that I have no intentions to rebuild,” Whidden said. “That wouldn’t be fair to the seniors. We need to feel like we’re taking the best shot every year.”

So, with that, the Red Raiders have added a couple noteworthy opponents early on, playing up in Division against Catholic Conference power and fellow preseason Top 25 squads BC High and Xaverian. They’re hoping to set a tone for the season that will carry over to their penultimate Old Colony League rivalry game against Bridgewater-Raynham – an annual slugfest.

“Even though we’re listed in Division 2 now, we want people to think about us in that tier of being a Division 1 team,” Estes said.

BARNSTABLE AT A GLANCE
Coach: Chris Whidden (Third year, 18-6)
2012: 11-1, lost in Division 1A Super Bowl.
Key Returnees: Hayden Murphy, Sr. Ath./FS, 6-2, 200 lbs.; Derek Estes, Sr. CB/WR; Billy Grimmer, Sr. OG, 6-0, 260 lbs.; Dereck Pacheco, Sr. DE, 6-3, 225 lbs.; Justus Chaffee, Sr. RB/CB; Kristian Lucashensky, Sr. QB; Colby Blaze, Sr. WR/CB.
Strengths: Skill positions and secondary.
Weakness: Experience at linebacker.


Outlook: So what will the Red Raiders’ offense look like Week 1? It’s a question that’s worth asking and also one that could evolve over time. Gone is Nick Peabody. However, Whidden is high on senior Kristian Lucashensky, who studied under Peabody last year and saw mop-up duty. But Murphy also presents an intriguing backfield option. Having already played “quarterback” in Barnstable’s Wildcat scheme in previous years, don’t be surprised if the Red Raiders set up some kind of rotation under center, including Murphy. The key will be versatility on offense, and that will be enabled by running back Justus Chaffee, who should see an increased number of carries.

On defense, Barstable is built from the back out. Along with Murphy and Estes, Whidden is keen on senior corner Colby Blaze, who lost most of last season due to a collarbone injury and is among the top students in Barnstable’s senior class. Drew Lambert will also insert at strong safety. The focus is on the linebacking corps, which was among the best in the state last season. The Red Raiders are looking to fill some shoes, but Whidden is encouraged in the early going by middle linebacker Chris Kennedy, who saw action primarily at offensive guard last season. Adding to that theme, Whidden expects five players to start or make significant contributions on both sides of the ball.

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