DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Hard to believe Somerset ever trailed Bishop Stang during the Blue Raiders’ 43-13 victory over the Spartans on Slocum Road.
After assembling a methodical six-play, 66-yard touchdown drive to open the game, Somerset was knocked on their heels by Tyler Dedrick’s 71-yard touchdown strike to Devan Clements. The successful extra-point kick had the Spartans up, 7-6.
It didn’t last long as Somerset (3-0, 1-0) ran behind their horses, running backs Seth DeMello and Jaron Spear, to an important Eastern Athletic Conference win over Stang (2-1, 0-1).
“[Coming into the game], we wanted to stop the big play,” Blue Raiders head coach Nick Freitas said. “We just had a defensive lapse. Luckily, we recovered from that.”
Somerset asserted its will on the ground, turning up the turf behind the offensive line led by tackle Ian Levesque.
“He’s a big, aggressive kid,” Freitas said of Levesque. “I like that.”
Spear led the charge with 21 carries for 215 yards and four touchdowns. And DeMello provided the thump to Spear’s flash; the bruising back churned out 160 yards on 19 rushes and one touchdown.
Somerset’s offensive display of power didn't slow after it lost starting quarterback Adam Ledoux to an injury in the second quarter. Senior Alex Estrella finished out the game under center after he put up the first Blue Raiders’ touchdown on a 3-yard touchdown run from the halfback position.
“We got away from some of the things we usually do because our quarterback [Ledoux] got a little dinged,” Freitas said. “I thought Estrella did a nice job though considering he only took three snaps at quarterback this week. He did a nice job of running the offense.”
The play-calling was made easy for Estrella, who often called DeMello and Spear’s number.
DeMello made a living running in between the tackles of Somerset’s Wishbone and Wing-T sets, oftentimes carrying several Spartan defenders on his back en route to first downs. DeMello’s longest run came on a 46-yard carry in the second quarter, which kick started a drive which culminated in his 13-yard touchdown run to give Somerset a 22-7 halftime lead.
Spear became the Blue Raiders’ weapon of choice in the second half, as the halfback tore off touchdown runs of 15, four and 49 yards in the second half to put the game out of reach.
Spear’s first touchdown run of six yards in the second quarter reclaimed the lead for Somerset, 14-7.
“What can you say?” Freitas asked rhetorically about the collective performances of DeMello and Spear.
“It all starts up front though. Our offensive line did a terrific job moving the pile all day.”