Even though Dorchester clinched the Boston City League South division and a trip to the Division 5 Super Bowl last week with a victory against Burke, the Bears maintained the mentality going into Friday afternoon’s game against Boston English that they were on the hunt for the division title.
“Sometimes you lose a game like this and teams start to argue ‘If we won this or we won that and we could’ve beat you’ but guess what we’re undefeated,” Rich Moran shouted during his now traditional fiery post-game address to players, parents and alumni after beating English 12-0 at White Stadium.
“No one can question this team now. We are the champs of the South division.”
Dorchester (9-0) coughed up two fourth-quarter fumbles and fumbled a total of three times on Friday but still managed to maintain its undefeated season by holding English to 66 yards of total offense.
“We did [win the division last week] but we talked about that with the kids to motivate them this week,” Moran said in an interview. “In the City of Boston, if we lost a game like today's, sometimes teams say ‘We beat English but you didn’t, we should be going' and all that stuff, so if we won this game there was nobody that could say ‘Well we beat you, or any of that stuff.
“So that’s the way we motivated the kids this week.”
That tactic seemed to work right off the bat as the Bears scored on their opening drive.
Junior fullback Trevaughn McCoy capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run at the 5:12 mark of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, junior quarterback Demetrius Leary threw a short pass to senior wide receiver Robinson Cyprien, who broke through a mob of tacklers down the far sideline to score the 25-yard TD.
“They tried to strip the ball and I just protected the ball and spun right off of them and ran right to the end zone,” Cyprien said. “In my head I was telling myself ‘To fight to the finish’ and that’s what I did.”
Moran said he was worried that Cyprien would fumble on the play.
“I was yelling at him to get out of bounce and all of a sudden I see him in the end zone,” Moran said. “I was going to yell at him.”
In the end Moran had plenty to yell about on the “protecting the ball” front.
Dorchester lost its first fumble at the start of the fourth quarter.
English took over on the 49 and started what looked like a promising drive despite suffering a 9-yard loss to make it third and long.
But English senior running back Daquawn Gunter ripped off a 12-yard run and then a 10-yard run before junior running back Jeff Reid added a 9-yard run of his own. But junior quarterback Dhe’Jour Releford was sacked on two of the final three plays of the drive and English was forced to punt.
Dorchester fumbled the ball away at the 26 on the second play of its next drive with 3:43 left in the game but English went three-and-out on its ensuing drive.
“We always talk in practice about keeping our composure,” Robinson said when asked how they managed to hold on for the victory. “We mess up one time and we keep our heads up and come back at it in the next play.”
After the game English coach Chris Boswell said he was “speechless.” He said they hoped to catch Dorchester off guard and was dismayed by the fact that they couldn’t capitalize on the Bears’ mistakes.
“That was the plan but plans don’t go according to what you plan,” he said. “I’m very proud of our kids. We were 0-20 for two years and we got a couple victories [this year]. We just have to keep pushing forward and stay positive.”
Now Dorchester will have to try to cure its fumblitis before its big showdown next week against the top team in the Boston City League North division: Madison Park.
“We prep the same way, we’re not going to change anything we do,” Moran said. “We just have to on offense be a lot cleaner because you can’t fumble the ball away against Madison.”
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Zolan Kanno-Youngs -- A former captain of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School football team and a current second-year Ujima Scholar at Northeastern University, Kanno-Youngs is the color commentator of the mens basketball team and a writer for Northeastern's campus newspaper, the Huntington News. He joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at KannoYoungs.Globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @KannoYoungs.