SOMERSET — For the first time this season, Somerset Berkley found itself facing a deficit when Wareham grabbed a 7-0 lead late in the second quarter Saturday. But the Raiders swung momentum in their favor with one play.
Jack Amarantes found Mikey Garrant out of the backfield for a 35-yard touchdown with two seconds left in the first half, cutting the visitors’ lead to 7-6. The score set off a run of 28 consecutive points for the hosts, who cruised to a 35-14 victory over the Vikings.
“We tell our kids there are going to be some bad plays that happen, but bend, don’t break,” said Somerset coach Nick Freitas. “Keep fighting and hope for the best.”
The late score seemed to invigorate the Raiders (4-0), who scored on the opening possession of the third quarter when Garrett Carlos (16 carries, 183 yards, 2 TDs) juked his way to a 63-yard touchdown run. After Austin Berube recovered a Wareham fumble at the 26 on the next series, Amarantes finished a six-play drive with a 1-yard sneak to give the hosts a 20-7 advantage.
Somerset kept momentum by stopping the Vikings on a fourth and goal from the 4-yard line. Following the defensive stand, the Raiders traveled 95 yards on six plays, finished off by a 43-yard sprint to the end zone by Garrant (12 carries, 90 yards, TD; 3 catches, 52 yards, TD) for a 28-7 lead.
While Freitas had stressed to his team the motto of bend but don’t break, Wareham coach Dan Nault wanted to avoid the scenario altogether.
“You can’t ‘bend but don’t break’ with them because they’ll just bend you all the way down the field and break you,” Nault said. “If you miss tackles at the line of scrimmage they can just run in from there.”
The visitors found some late magic when quarterback Anthony Abbott hooked up with Cody Stahmer for a 42-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-14 with 6:25 remaining. Wareham’s defense could not hold, however, as Carlos broke off a 35-yard touchdown scamper on fourth down for the final score.
Garrant and Carlos accounted for 325 of their team’s 372 total yards and helped the Raiders score on their final five possessions.
“They have a good combination of speed and power,” Freitas said. “They worked hard in the offseason, were in the weight room pretty much since December of last season.”
The Vikings (3-1) missed opportunities to build a larger lead in the opening stanza. A holding penalty wiped out a 49-yard TD run on their first possession, and Abbott was picked off by Garrant inside the red zone late in the first quarter. Darien Fernandez (15 carries, 87 yards, TD) broke the scoreless draw with a 3-yard run to cap a 14-play, 73-yard drive that spanned 7 minutes and 41 seconds. The TD appeared as though it would be the only points of the half until Amarantes found Garrant through the air.