NEEDHAM, Mass. -- The Buckingham Browne and Nichols Knights shut down a talented St. Sebastian’s offense on Saturday in Needham. The Knights used a solid defense and a hard-nosed running attack to lead them to a convincing 28-6 victory over the Arrows.
“The kids played great,” BB&N coach John Pappas said about his defense. “We had to make an adjustment right away. We came out and we were ready to play a 4-3, and shifted into a three-man line and did some blitzes … but the interceptions -- Rhett Wiseman’s interception, Willy People’s interception, Pete Savarese’s interception -- those were all big plays for us.”
The BB&N defense intercepted St. Sebastian’s Brian Strachan three times, but -- more importantly -- converted two of those turnovers into touchdowns. Strachan struggled to throw the deep ball because of a very balanced BB&N secondary.
“Because our offensive line are all first-years playing varsity football, [Strachan] has held us together and he has to make plays but every team knows that so they gear themselves to stop him,” said St. Sebastian’s coach Robert Souza.
Strachan finished the game 10 of 19 for 112 yards with three interceptions.
BB&N’s Chris Coady stood out at safety for the Knights but also shined on offense. Coady ran the ball 25 times for 149 yards and one touchdown, and also had two receptions for 24 yards including a 14-yard touchdown catch.
“They couldn’t tackle him,” said quarterback Eric Bertino. “He’s a big guy so he’s really a kind of dynamic kid and would just get six or seven yards a carry and it makes my job pretty easy.”
“He is the epitome of a football player,” said Pappas of Coady. “He ran the ball well, had a another great reception on a touchdown … but he was great. He hit the holes the way he was supposed to.”
Coady credited the results to his offensive line.
“They did awesome,” Coady said. “We just beat them up physically and it was just really easy for me to hit the holes.”
On the offensive line, the Knights were led by Eric Olson, Dan Connaughton and Mike Henske, but also had solid contributions from Chris Mackey and freshman Connor Coady. The line gave Bertino enough time, and kept him off the ground for the entire game.
“It was the best I’ve ever seen them play,” said Bertino about the group. “Last week, against Belmont Hill, they had a good front so it was kind of tough, but they had a great week of practice though so they were all fired up.”
Bertino managed the game well and ended up completing 11 of 20 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
“They were good, but part of it is that we’re young,” Souza said of St. Sebastian’s struggles. “We had a couple of sophomores and freshman out there playing but that is a pretty mature team and we had a hard time matching up --up front -- and that just made it difficult.”
B - 0 14 7 7 -- 25
S - 0 0 0 6 -- 6
B - Peter Savarese 7 run (Ralph Malin kick)
B - Chris Coady 14 catch from Eric Bertino (Malin kick)
B - Coady 10 run (Malin kick)
B - Sam Kimball 12 catch from Bertino (Malin kick)
S - Dillon Ecclesine 9 run (kick failed)