Upper Cape Tech Kicks Off Super Bowl Saturday
By: Dan Crowley
What a difference a year makes. Last fall in just their first varsity season the Upper Cape Tech Rams football team finished with a record of 2-8. This year they are 9-1 and headed for the Division 5 Super Bowl to be played Saturday at 1 PM against Boston South League champion Dorchester at Curry College in Milton. The Bears, who finished 4-5 last year, enter Saturday’s matchup undefeated at 10-0.
UCT, who wrapped up the regular season on Thanksgiving with a 42-18 victory over Cape Cod Regional Technical High School brought home the Golden Wrench Trophy for the first time. The Rams finished 4-1 in the league tying for first play with South Shore Vocational Technical High School, who also had a league record of 4-1, but finished 4-7 overall.
“Dorchester is as good as any team we have played this season,” Coach Mike Hernon said, “their undefeated record speaks for itself and we are going to need to bring our best effort to come out with a win. Team speed has been to our advantage in most games this year, but I think Saturday Dorchester will have a slight edge when it comes to that. Dorchester has a ton of team speed on both sides of the ball so we are going to have to find different ways to neutralize that. Like in any big game we are going to need to win the turnover battle and limit penalties but it will also come down to which team can execute on those critical third downs as well as the team that can finish drives in the red area. If we can do that we will have put ourselves in good position after 40 minutes.”
The Bears are coached by Rich Moran, now in his seventh season at Dorchester High. After the team’s 12-0 victory over Burke High School on November 2, clinching a super bowl spot, Moran was named the New England Patriots Coach of the Week. Saturday will be the first time Dorchester has reached the super bowl in 23 years.
The Bears will bring depth, experience and a powerful defense to the field on Saturday. This year Dorchester has allowed an average of just under six points per game and in six of their victories did not allow the opposition to score. The only team that both UCT and the Bears have both faced is O’Bryant. The Rams played O’Bryant on September 22 winning 21-16. Dorchester faced O’Bryant on October 27 winning 6-0.
The Bears opened their season this fall with a 36-0 victory over New Mission, a league game pitting the Bears against a new program playing their first varsity game.
South Boston, which plays in the Division 4A Boston North League, fell to the Bears on September 15 by a score of 6-0. Dorchester junior quarterback Demetrius Leary returned the opening kickoff of the second half 70 yards for the lone score. Leary had also returned a kick for a TD in the season opener against New Mission.
The Dorchester defense surrendered their first points of the season on September 22 in a 16-8 victory against Division 4A Matignon, with Leary scoring again, this time on a 54-yard run.
The Bears returned to league play on September 27 with a 36-24 win over Latin Academy. Senior Robinson Cyprien rushed for 279 yards scoring twice in the victory for the Bears.
On October 5 Dorchester faced Division 4A Charlestown posting a 32-0 win and their third shutout of the season.
Cyprien scored twice, one coming on a 32-yard pass play from Leary. Dale Cooper also joined in the scoring finding the end zone twice, his second on an 80-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
On the 20th the Bears played one of their tightest contests of the season, defeating Division 4A Brighton 16-12. The next week they returned to league play slipping past O’Bryant 6-0 on a 36-yard run by Leary.
On November 2 Dorchester defeated Burke 12-0 on a 1-yard run by Cyprien and a 5-yard pass play from Leary to Arrik Bell. The next week they posted a similar score in defeating Boston English for their sixth shutout of the season. The Bears scored on a 1-yard run by TreVaughn McCoy and a 5-yard pass play from Leary to Ruben Penasanchez.
Dorchester wrapped up their regular season schedule on the 16th with a 16-14 victory over D4A Madison Park in which Cyprien scored his sixth TD of the season. Cyprien and junior Hakim Harris lead the Bears with six touchdowns each this season. Leary and McCoy have each scored four TDs. All but seven of Dorchester’s touchdowns this season have been on the ground. They have passed for just four, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and scored once on an interception. They are 15-for-23 in 2-point conversions and have tried to kick a point after just once, missing it.
“This season has been memorable in so many different ways, but to be able to finish it off with a chance to win a super bowl is extra special,” Coach Hernon said. “We have preached to our team all year about making history, whether it was the first win on our new field, first Thanksgiving win, and now they have the chance to not only participate but win the school’s first ever state championship. This program did not exist when these seniors stepped in the building and coming off a 2-8 year it would have been easy for them to find excuses to not work hard but they never did and that hard work is what put them in the position they are in. I think it has also taught them a valuable life lesson that if you work hard for something you believe in you can achieve it. I’m not sure if they fully grasp the legacy they are leaving but when they get together years down the road I think they will understand the impact it has had on the school and community.”
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