BROCKTON, Mass. -– Whoever coined the phrase “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” must have had Brockton High in mind.
On a frigid Friday night, the No. 5 Boxers avenged last year’s 21-19 loss to New Bedford by spearing the Whalers, 28-21, behind the running of junior Kerry Raymond.
“We talked about it and the kids remember last year ... the disappointment of losing after we had a lead on them,” said Brockton coach Peter Colombo after his team clinched the Big 3 championship. “Today was a little eerily similar when we got a two-touchdown lead and they got back in the game.
“But we expect a battle every time we play. There aren’t any easy games with the schedule we play. We talk to the kids about adversity and playing through it. (New Bedford) came back and got a lead on us but we put a great drive together to win the football game.”
The drive Colombo referred to commenced late in the third quarter after the Whalers had snared a 21-20 lead on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Chandler Debrosse to Hunter Fluegel with Debrosse kicking the PAT.
Ignition: Jon Derolus kick-started what proved to be that game-winning drive when he returned the ensuing kickoff 43 yards to New Bedford’s 47.
Then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Raymond broke three tackles as he bulled his way into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the game and surprise starting quarterback Mike Kilroy tossed a two-point conversion pass to Greg Augustine.
Altogether, Raymond gained 188 yards on 24 carries and at times was virtually unstoppable.
“Kerry Raymond, and with Jayden Cellucci in front of him, is a great one-two punch,” said Colombo. “Kerry is our horse.”
While Brockton rode Raymond to victory, Kilroy cracked the whip, so to speak.
Brockton lost starting quarterback Aaron Williams to an injury during last week’s 42-0 romp over Durfee, which forced Colombo to give Kilroy his first varsity start.
“We didn’t have our starting quarterback and Mike Kilroy is a kid who just works hard every day,” said Colombo. “He did a very, very nice job under the situation.
“Obviously, just direct the offense and don’t make mistakes. When he threw the ball he was very efficient throwing it (Kilroy completed 3-of-4 passes for 75 yards). He’s a great kid and I’ll go to battle with Mike every time.”
Landing the first punches: Brockton fired the first “shots” of the battle in the first quarter which ended with the Boxers leading 12-0.
In fact, Brockton only needed four plays after the opening kickoff to score when Raymond burst 28 yards through the right side.
Then, after New Bedford went three and out, Kilroy completed a 32-yard pass to Derolus which set up a nine-yard touchdown run by Raymond.
New Bedford countered with a five-play, 63-yard drive which culminated in a nine-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Moraes.
But the Boxers answered with a drive of their own, marching 55 yards in six plays with Raymond busting seven yards off left tackle for a 20-7 lead.
The Whalers then stunned the Brockton fans when Quinsy Aosa recovered a Raymond fumble at Brockton’s 47 with 22 seconds left in the half.
That turnover led to a six-yard touchdown pass from Chandler Debrosse to Andrew Rapoza which pulled New Bedford within 20-14 at intermission.
Then, the teams exchanged scores with Raymond notching the aforementioned game-winning touchdown.
“It’s sweet,” said Colombo. “We wanted the Big 3 championship back and we got it tonight. We played good, efficient football on offense. (New Bedford) is a good offensive team, as you saw.
“We knew they were going to answer but we answered back. I’m proud of the kids.”
Brockton 28, New Bedford 21
NB (0-1, 4-4) 0-14-7-0 - 21
BR (2-0, 5-2) 12-8-0-8 - 28
BR – Kerry Raymond 28 run (run failed)
BR – Raymond 9 run (run failed)
NB- Jonathan Moraes 9 run (Chandler Debrosse kick)
BR – Raymond 7 run (Raymond run)
NB – Andrew Rapoza 6 pass from Debrosse (Debrosse kick)
NB – Hunter Fluegel 47 pass from Debrosse (Debrosse kick)
BR – Raymond 6 run (Greg Augastine pass from Mike Kilroy)