Falmouth Clippers Suffer Lopsided Turkey Day Loss
By: Rich Maclone
Plenty of controversy surrounded the Barnstable Red Raiders heading into yesterday’s annual Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Falmouth Clippers, but when it came down to football the Red Raiders were able to put their troubles aside and get down to the business at hand.
Despite going into battle against Falmouth with their Head Coach Doug Crook and starting running back Dennis Reddy both serving suspensions, Barnstable tore into the Clippers in the annual Turkey Day tilt, winning 46-14.
The win ends Falmouth’s season at 5-5 overall as the team dropped its final five games in a row. Barnstable finished its season at 7-4 overall and now owns a slight edge in Thanksgiving Day games, 41-39-4. Falmouth still owns a lead in the all-time series between the teams, 59-58-8.
Just like last year’s game, the Red Raiders jumped out on Falmouth quickly, scoring a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. FHS would trim that lead in half, but the Raiders carried a 21-7 edge into the second half and then added three straight TD’s in the third quarter to blow it wide open. Interim Head Coach Chris Whidden, who stepped into Crook’s role after the head coach was suspended for inappropriately addressing members of his team this week, seemed to distance himself and the Raiders from Crook Sr. after the game. \
When asked if the squad had stepped up to honor their missing coach, Whidden sidestepped the issue. “The kids won it for the kids. The kids played hard because they love themselves as a team. That was the point I was making, it was their day, it was all about them.”
And it was all about the Raiders’ offense as they were able to strike quickly and put up 21 in the first half, despite three Falmouth interceptions of BHS junior quarterback DJ Crook, the coach’s son. BHS jumped right out to the lead as they took the ball to start and needed just six plays to traverse 67 yards and put seven points on the board.
After two straight incompletions to start the game, Crook found wideout Jason Carlino for a gain of 17 to get it to midfield and then hit a bubble screen that went for 25 to Matt Delaney. A scramble by Crook of 22 yards got it to the Falmouth three and then the junior QB bounced into the end zone on the next play.
Falmouth went three-and-out on its next possession but got the ball back on a great interception by Matt Dineen at the Falmouth 29. Barnstable’s defense once again held tight, forcing another Falmouth punt, but this time the punt didn’t get off for the Clippers as the snap to kicker Brendan Peterson was high and he was downed at his own 16. Five plays later the Raiders were back in the end zone as running back Theo France drove in from two yards out to make it a 14-0 game.
To the Clippers’ credit, they never gave up and continued to battle. The team would pick off two more Crook passes in the first half, one by Damien Reid and then another by Alex Sodekson. The Sodekson pick, late in the first quarter, set up the team’s first scoring drive as he pilfered a hurried throw at the BHS 15. It took seven plays, but Dillon Mansfield found Devon Soares on a quick slant to make it a one-score game.
The quick strike Raiders’ offense had a fast answer though. BHS went 57 yards in four plays to get a two-TD lead back as Crook’s throw into triple coverage was hauled down by the athletic Delaney with 7:13 left in the second.
FHS nearly scored on its last drive of the second quarter, but ran out of clock as the bid died at the BHS 10.
The game took a big turn for the worse to start the second half for FHS. Barnstable opened with an onside kick that they appeared to touch before it traveled the required 10 yards. The referees ruled in BHS’ favor, though, and the Raiders set up shop near midfield to start the third and took it down for another score, this time a 13-yard TD pass from Crook to Jordan Henderson just 1:37 into the second half. BHS got two more scores before the quarter ended, a France two-yard run on the next drive and then a pretty halfback option pass by Delaney to Carlino for 43-yards to make it 40-7.
FHS Coach Steve Femino said that Barnstable “illegally touched” the onside kick, but didn’t blame the outcome on that one play. “It was two 21-7 halves...our kids didn’t quit, they played hard, I’m proud of their effort, but Barnstable’s a good football team.”
Falmouth added a nine-yard run by Mansfield in the fourth quarter. Mark Thompson scored a one-yard TD run to cap things off.
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