The wait to get there has been nearly excruciating.
But on Tuesday, after an 8-year hiatus, the Barnstable High School football team will head to the MIAA Division 1A Playoffs with hope and a chance for a trip to the Super Bowl.
Barnstable (7-4) will face the 10-1 Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 5:15 p.m. at Taunton High School, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association announced today.
The Red Raiders are, well, riding a red-hot three-game winning streak after eclipsing Falmouth on the road yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, 28-15. Since the Red Raiders topped the Bridgewater-Raynham Trojans two weeks ago for the Old Colony League championship title, it seems like the team has finally begun to come together in terms of self-confidence and a unified spirit.
Barnstable last went to the postseason in 2002 when the team went 9-3 under the direction of longtime head coach Paul "Spanky" Demanche. BHS fell to St. John's Prep at home, 42-6, in that affair, on a bone-chilling, five-degree evening. Barnstable has been to two Super Bowls (in 1995 and 1999) and won them both, defeating New Bedford in the vaunted 11-0 season (1995) and BC High in 1999.
This season had been somewhat in question after senior tri-captain D.J. Crook was sidelined due to a fractured thumb on his throwing hand against New Bedford, but by the looks of it, Crook appeared healthy and ready to re-take the quarterbacking reins with an 11-16, 194-yard, two-touchdown performance on Turkey Day.
But with Crook out for five games, junior Nick Peabody and sophomore Hayden Murphy stepped in at quarterback and paced the Red & White to the OCL champioinship title. It was a valiant, dual effort, indeed.