Upper Cape Tech Brings Home The Super Bowl Trophy
By: Dan Crowley
The Rams put the icing on the cake Saturday at Curry College in Milton with their first Division 5 Super Bowl win—not bad for a varsity team that has been in existence for just two years. Facing Boston South champion Dorchester (10-0), the Rams (9-1) made it look like just another game winning 22-8.
The Bears recovered the opening onside kick, but UCT stopped them. But then a UCT fumble handed the ball back to Dorchester.
“That onside kick was a little worrisome, “Coach Mike Hernon admitted. “But after we got a four and out, I was confident. Even after the fumble I was confident, because we were moving the ball.”
The Bears entered the game with a highly touted defense that had surrendered an average of fewer than 6 points per game all season. Before the afternoon was over it appeared that the better defense was in blue and white and not Dorchester black and red.
UCT quarterback Edgar Eldredge hit Dylan Derby in the right side of the end zone for a touchdown with two minutes remaining in the opening quarter, but the TD was called back on a penalty. Unfazed, the Rams handed the ball to Jon Dumont on a sweep around the right side from 14 yards out. With several Dorchester defenders in pursuit, Dumont turned it up and raced for the end zone. Three more defenders stood in his way at the 3-yard line. It wasn’t the bridge at Concord, nor was this shot heard around the world, but when Dumont lowered his shoulder and hit the Dorchester defenders it was a shot heard around the stadium, as he bowled them over tumbling into the end zone. The hit was loud enough to give seasoned observers pause, with one admitting he had never seen anything like that before in high school football.
Leading 6-0 Richie Semple made the first of his two interceptions early in the second quarter.
“Semple had a huge day,” Coach Mike Hernon said. “He has been great for us all year. There were times during the season when he got beat, I’ve been there, you’re on an island out there. But his confidence has been building all year. He’s done a great job.”
With 4:53 remaining in the half Dumont tucked the ball again and took off from 42 yards out and into the end zone.
“Without the offensive line we had I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere this season,” Dumont said. “Our whole line works very hard. I like to run behind Greg [Hill]. He’s big and a very good blocker.”
Dumont finished the day with 16 carries for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
With just 59 seconds left in the opening half the Bears lofted a pass down the field and wideout Arrik Bell ran under it and into the end zone. They then ran in the 2-point conversion leaving the Rams up 14-8 at the half. In most scenarios the touchdown entering the half gives the team that scored momentum. But one thing instilled in the UCT team this season was the will to win. The team knew how to win a football game.
“I think that touchdown by Dorchester refocused us,” Coach Hernon said. “We stressed that we needed to come out for the second half and get a stop. Film had shown us that they would often come into the second and score on their first possession.”
Not this time. The Bears got nowhere to open the second half. They in fact fumbled, giving the ball away at their own 41-yard line. An interception by the Bears could have sparked a comeback, but Semple put that spark out two minutes later when he picked off his second of the game. Four seconds into the fourth quarter Eldredge bulled his way into the end zone behind a big push from the offensive line.
“I thought our offensive line did a fantastic job,” the coach said. “If we had ever needed to come up big up front this was the week. They did a heck of a job.”
Eldredge then hit Matt Hoadley in the left side of the end zone for the 2-point conversion and a 22-8 lead.
The Bears pulled out all the stops down the stretch, but the UCT defense wasn’t impressed, as they stonewalled Dorchester.
“Defense is attitude,” Hernon explained. “I think our kids just felt this was our day. We drew from last season. Losing had left a bad taste in our mouths. It helped to motivate the kids. I’m going to miss the seniors. Andrew Fisher brought a lot of energy and Greg Hill was the voice of the team. When things needed to be said to me it was always Greg. Nick Strawn was a leader from the start. We made him a captain. Edgar Eldredge always understood where I was coming from. He gets it. Edgar knows and loves this game. I’m really going to miss those guys. What they have accomplished will start to sink in in the coming weeks.”
Hernon, who now has four Super Bowl rings, having earned one in high school and two more as an assistant coach at South Shore Voc Tech, credits his players and coaches for their dedication and hard work this season.
“I’ve been fortunate,” the coach admitted, “My assistant coach Ed Eldredge and I have been here since the start and Tom [Cadieux] came on last year. Building a new program is different. I’ve been able to learn from those guys, they’ve been great.”
Coach Cadieux brings 40 seasons of coaching football to the UCT staff.
“For Tom to come in and work for a younger coach says a lot,” Hernon added. “He just loves football. Ed is the guy that is always there, our local guy. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them and our volunteer assistant Jake Simpson.
” Although he is the head coach, Hernon insists it’s not his team, that it belongs to the players.
“It’s their team,” he said. “They did this. There is not a kid in our starting line that I would point to and say that he is not tough. They are, both physically and mentally. It all began back on August 20 and now, 11 games later, it’s over. It’s amazing it all went so fast.”
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