Mashpee Football Opens League Play With A Win Over East Bridgewater
By: Rich Maclone
It’s been a long, long time since Falcon Stadium hosted a football game, but that drought ends tonight as the Mashpee High School football team finally plays in front of its home crowd on its home field.
The reigning Division IV Super Bowl champs improved to 2-2 with a gutsy road win against South Shore League rival East Bridgewater on Saturday afternoon, 20-14, to get their league slate off on a good note. Tonight, at 7 PM, they look to go 2-for-2 against the SSL when Rockland visits.
The Bulldogs are currently 1-3 overall but tied atop the SSL standings with a 1-0 league record. Last weekend they picked off three Norwell passes and scored a tough 7-0 win over the Clippers to open league play.
MHS Coach Matt Triveri said that the Bulldogs are a young squad, full of sophomores and juniors, who are not afraid to mix it up. “It’ll be a physical game, chippy. That’s their style of play,” Triveri said.
Rockland runs the ball well and has a good athlete calling the plays in quarterback Matt Nickerson. The Dogs will run some different looks offensively, favoring Power-I and double wing sets with plenty of jet sweep and power toss plays.
Triveri said that his team will enjoy a heightened “comfort level” finally being on their own turf. Playing four-straight road games to start the year has not been easy, especially with a target on their backs based on last year’s performance.
Last week the Falcons showed a great deal of resolve as they pulled out a tough road win in their first league game of the year. “On our last (scoring) drive, we controlled the line of scrimmage and Cody (Bingham-Hendricks) made plays when he had to. Defensively, we executed. We kept the quarterback in check, out of space,” the coach said.
“In the end, the effort the first tick to the last tick was good. We fought through to get the win,” Triveri said.
Mashpee took East Bridgewater’s best punches and answered back with haymakers of their own. After taking the lead into the half, thanks to a late TD, EB came back to pull within a point with an early touchdown. Mashpee answered. In the fourth quarter East Bridgewater marched 86 yards on two plays to tie it up, but Mashpee again answered back to reclaim the lead late and then held strong with a big defensive effort in the final minutes.
EB cut into the Mashpee lead with a touchdown by Kevin Lynch on a 21-yard run late in the third quarter to make it 7-6.
Jared Taylor’s second TD of the game came on the final play of the third quarter. With the extra point sailing through the uprights, Mashpee added to the lead to make it 14-6.
The Vikings responded midway through the fourth quarter to tie the score. The home team needed just two plays to go the distance of the field as Andrew Benson finished the drive with a 25-yard scoring run and then found his receiver on the two-point conversion, despite pressure from the Mashpee front, to tie the score.
On this day, though, the Falcons did not waver. Deshaun Dias set the team up in great shape with a great kick return to near midfield and then Malik Lee and Taylor took turns picking up first downs for the Falcons. Bingham-Hendricks sneaked between a pair of offensive linemen from 1 yard away with 3:45 left to make it 20-14 Mashpee, and then it was up to the defense.
The Falcons D twice halted the Vikings over the final few minutes. Lee broke up a deep pass with great downfield coverage to get the ball back for Mashpee with 1:42 left. EB kept Mashpee from killing the rest of the clock and got the ball back with 30 ticks left, near their own 35.
John Benard came up with a great sack that should have ended the game, but the referees mismanaged the game clock and stopped the time from running, though it should have continued to tick. That did not matter when Mike McCarthy rattled the cage of Benson on the last play of the game, dropping him for a big sack that put Mashpee in the winner’s circle. It was the third sack of the game for McCarthy and his seventh career sack against the Vikings, a team he obviously enjoys playing against.
Mashpee scored just before halftime to net the only points of the first half, taking a 7-0 lead on an 8-yard pass from Bingham-Hendricks to Taylor with 14 seconds remaining on the clock. Bingham-Hendricks led Taylor over the middle, who moved from his right to his left, caught the ball in stride and high-stepped into the end zone to give the Falcons the lead. Bingham-Hendricks set up the score with a great bomb up the field to Robert Andrade that went for nearly 50 yards with Andrade making a great adjustment on the ball to come down with it.
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