How much did the Upper Cape Tech Rams miss senior running back Jon Dumont? About 216 yards and four touchdowns worth. On Saturday afternoon, after missing the first two games of the season for a violation of team rules, Dumont re-joined the UCT lineup, helping the Rams to a 34-28 overtime victory over visiting Nantucket.
UCT had a 28-14 lead with 7:25 to play in the fourth quarter, scoring on a pass from quarterback Ryan Semple to Dylan Derby down the left side. But they let the Whalers back in the game 21 seconds later when Keenen Phillips took the ball 71 yards up the middle, cutting the lead to 28-21. The Rams were then forced to punt, giving Nantucket the ball back on the UCT 45-yard line with 4:26 to play. The Whalers drove the ball down the field, with quarterback Andrew Ray hitting Phillips on a 37-yard pass play for a touchdown. The point after slipped through the goalpost, tying the game with 1:44 to go.
The Rams were unable to move the ball, giving the Whalers another shot, but with 12 seconds left the UCT defense stopped them and a 46-yard field goal attempt fell short.
The Rams managed two plays in the final seconds, but fell short and the game went into overtime.
The Whalers opened the OT on offense from the 10-yard line, but big tackles by the UCT defense led by Kyle Boyle, Liam Kanaley, Trevor Rowe and Jack Rogers stopped them on the four-yard line.
Taking over on the 10, the Rams handed the ball to Dumont, who ran left to the four. On second and goal, Semple handed the ball to Dumont again and the senior running back broke into the end zone, giving the Rams a 34-28 win.
After allowing Nantucket to take a 6-0 lead in the opening quarter, the Rams unleashed Dumont, who went 77 yards for his first touchdown of the afternoon. Alex Peterson kicked the extra point to give UCT a 7-6 lead. Nantucket scored again in the second quarter and picked up the two-point conversion. Dumont then ran in his second TD from the 12-yard line, but the kick was blocked, leaving the Rams trailing 14-13 at halftime.
With 4:22 left to play in the third quarter, sophomore Joe Fisher recovered a Nantucket fumble on their 11-yard line. Less than a minute later Dumont charged around the right side for a 9-yard TD. Dylan Derby then tacked on the two-point conversion to give the Rams a 21-14 lead.
Boyle and Derby came up with a big tackle to stop the Whalers on a fourth and goal at the five-yard line to end the third quarter. A 40-yard run by Dumont then set up another UCT touchdown with 7:25 to play for a 28-14 lead.
“We came back and got the job done,” head coach Mike Hernon said. “I thought we showed some grit. It’s a valuable lesson to have the game in hand and then be able to come back and right the ship. Our defense buckled down. When we faced adversity, they answered the bell.”
Dumont carried the ball 26 times for 216 yards and four touchdowns.
“Not only is Jon a guy coming back from last year, he was the player of the year in the league,” coach Hernon said. “He gave us a boost on and off the field and I think that showed.”
The Rams head for Rochester on Saturday for a 2:30 PM kickoff against Old Colony. The Cougars, who finished last season at 3-7, are coming off a 30-22 victory last week over West Bridgewater. They opened the season suffering their only loss to date, falling to Diman Voc 26-18. Their other victory came on September 14 in a 46-18 decision over Cape Cod Tech.
“That West Bridgewater win is huge for them,” coach Hernon said. “I think that’s the first time they’ve beaten them since 2001. They are feeling good about themselves. It will be a big game with a playoff atmosphere. They’ll run a spread offense. Having seen Nantucket is going to help us.”