How sweet it is.
Barnstable High channeled its emotions and energy just right tonight at Taunton High School, as the Red & White virtually shut down the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors (10-2) and took home a 28-7 victory and in so doing earned a trip to the EMass. Division 1A Super Bowl this Saturday (Dec. 1) at Gillette Stadium at 1:30 pm.
Barnstable, ranked #1 in the state, will face #2 Everett High in a rematch of the two teams' earlier season slugfest, a game which set the Red Raiders on course for its best season since 1995. Barnstable's 11-0 record matches the 11-0 season of 1995, and it all happened on the precise same field: BHS defeated New Bedford at Taunton High in the 1995 Div. 1A Super Bowl, 11-0, to also finish a perfect 11-0.
Barnstable had much to be thankful for tonight with junior running back Hayden Murphy's most dominant and effective performance of the 2012 season: he ran for 191 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns. Senior captain and quarterback Nick Peabody scored Barnstable's sole other touchdown, new placekicker Derek Pacheco kicked two PATs and the Red Raiders also collected a safety.
It was the safety that put Barnstable on the scoreboard first.
After staging a 13-play opening drive that fizzled on the four-yard line, Barnstable turned the ball over on downs to the Warriors. The Warriors went nowhere on three plays and were forced to punt but a bad snap sailed over the punter's head and out of the end zone for an automatic safety and BHS suddenly led, 2-0 and then got the ball right back at midfield.
Murphy gained two on the first play, followed by a James Burke reception for ten yards and a Peabody run of ten more. Murphy than busted up the middle and put a nifty move on the L-S secondary and was home free for the game's first touchdown and Murphy's first of three scores.
Thanks to a stellar defense, led by senior captains Andrew Ellis and Ryan Litchman - one which vitually eliminated any hope L-S had of moving the ball - Barnstable took a 14-0 lead into halftime. It continued to control the outcome of the game till nearly the final whistle.
Perhaps the straw that broke the Warriors' collective backs, however, was when senior defensive tackle Jonathan Eldredge collected his first career interception on the L-S 26-yard line just moments after Peabody had made it 20-0 (21-0 on Pacheco's PAT). Not 60 seconds after Eldredge's fortuitous pick-off, Murphy punched it in one more time to make it 27-0 and Pacheco's boot made it 28-0.
Kevin Hardy also notched an interception in the fourth quarter. With Hardy's pick-off, it seemed like icing on a cake that was baked by the Red & White's entire 80-man roster.
"It's always been a team effort," head coach Chris Whidden said shortly after the game. "It shows the unselfishness of everybody on the team and the willingness to do what it takes to get a win."