FOXBOROUGH – After the Needham Rockets opened the game with a successful onside kick and a touchdown, it appeared as if the Bay State conference champions were going to give BC High a battle.
But it was the Eagles’ game from there, as they racked up three straight scores to beat Needham 21-7 and capture the Division 1 Super Bowl title.
Senior running back Deontae Ramey-Doe powered BC High (10-3), rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns. BC High finished with 360 yards total, 300 of which came from the rushing attack.
“When I first stepped in [to Gillette], it was huge I was really nervous,” Ramey-Doe said. “I’ve never been on a bigger stage. My mindset was to run as hard as I could and trust the linemen, and everything would be there.”
After Ramey-Doe’s third score, the Rockets were forced to play catch-up. But the Eagles defense, which finished the season averaging 13.3 points per game, refused to break.
Needham (9-4) had the ball on its own 43-yard line and trailed BC High 21-7 with 3:20 left in the game, and the Rockets needed to score fast.
Sophomore quarterback Ryan Charter got his team to BC High’s 22-yard line, but he threw his fourth interception of the game at the 8-yard line.
“We thought they were going to throw the ball more today with our run defense,” BC High coach Jon Bartlett said. “Their sophomore quarterback had a good game today, but our defense came up with some big turnovers.”
Needham had another chance to make it a one-possession game after Ramey-Doe fumbled on the 45-yard line with 6:06 remaining in the game, but senior running back Mike Vespa was stuffed on fourth-and-two.
BC High’s defense gave up just 85 yards in the first half, and looked even sharper after the break as they grabbed three interceptions.
“A couple of them could have been caught, but BC High’s defense is one of the best in the state,” Needham coach Dave Duffy said. “We had our opportunities, but give them credit, they’re a great football team and deserve to be Division 1 state football champs.
On the Rockets third play to start the half, BC High senior Yosa Nosamiefan tipped a pass from Charter, and senior Gordon McLeod made a diving catch for the interception.
The Eagles used 13 plays to go 75 yards and erased 6:40 off the clock, as Ramey-Doe finished the drive with a 1-yard score.
In the first half, the Eagles used two runs from Ramey-Doe to take a 14-7 lead on the Rockets at the break.
Vespa capped the Rockets’ opening drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception, but Ramey-Doe answered Needham’s touchdown with a 5-yard score of his own, then in the second quarter he broke loose for a 91-yard score.
The Rockets punted to the Eagles 9-yard line, but Ramey-Doe ran behind the blocking of senior Jameson McShea and got a crushing block from wide receiver John Arens.
“We were just keeping our composure, we knew big plays were going to happen,” Ramey-Doe said. “We knew sometimes we were going to be in holes, but we just had to dig ourselves out of it.”
The win is BC High’s second title in three years, as they beat Brockton in 2008.
“It’s been what I’ve [been] waiting for my whole life,” senior quarterback Bartley Regan said. “Our defense has been phenomenal all year, and Deontae did a great job and stepped in when Preston [Cooper] went down. But you got to give credit to the O-line, they made every hole open and it came down to them.”
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
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