|Barnstable running back Hayden Murphy (3 TDs) blocks for quarterback Nick Peabody as he looks for a receiver.|
Barnstable stays the course this time, beats Lincoln-Sudbury
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TAUNTON — Barnstable’s Red Raiders have long memories.
A year ago, Barnstable led Lincoln-Sudbury, 13-0, at halftime of the teams’ Division 1A semifinal game only to implode in the second half and lose, 14-13.
That wasn’t the case Tuesday night in the rematch as Barnstable built a 14-0 halftime lead and coasted to a 28-7 victory that enabled the Red Raiders (11-0) to punch a Super Bowl ticket for the first time since 1995.
Barnstable will play Everett at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
“I’m sure it was brought up in both locker rooms,” Barnstable coach Chris Whidden said of the teams’ 2011 playoff game. “We both could use it as motivation because they came back from two touchdowns last year and we let up two touchdowns last year.
“We made sure that since they were going to make adjustments, our adjustments had to be just as fast theirs were. Our kids brought it every snap. There wasn’t a letup even when we were up 28-0.”
The Warriors (10-2) stepped on the turf allowing an average of only 8.1 points per game. But they allowed that many before the end of the first quarter.
From a statistical standpoint, there wasn’t a comparison between the teams’ performances.
Barnstable gained 330 yards of total offense while Lincoln-Sudbury managed only 102 yards – including 28 in the first half, which ended with the Red Raiders holding that 14-0 lead.
“We’ve got the ability, defensively,” Whidden said. “We can step up and play in a big game. Unfortunately, there might have been times during the year when we might have played down to the competition a little bit.
“They stepped up and played not as well as we can but as well as we have. But there’s definitely room for improvement and we’ll nitpick that the next couple days and hope we bring the best thing we have Saturday.”
Six Red Raiders who brought the “best thing” they have in Tuesday night’s game were junior running back Hayden Murphy and his offensive line.
Murphy accounted for 153 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.
“Any time a running back has a game like that he’s got to have somewhere to run,” Whidden said. “Those front five, Owen Murray, Tom Harrington, Tommy Grimmer, Chris Kennedy, and Allen Buckley all played a great game up front to provide those seams for Murphy.
“And [quarterback] Nick [Peabody] did a great job reading it. It proves we don’t have selfish kids on that offense. Whoever has to get the ball is going to get the ball.”
Peabody also had praise for Murphy.
“I was terrible throwing the ball,” Peabody said after completing 7 of 23 passes for 98 yards. “But Hayden really picked it up. That’s what a team is all about. You’re not going to play your best game every time. Hayden was amazing. The offensive line was amazing.
“We’re a total team. We don’t just throw the ball. We run it, too.”
Barnstable caught a break late in the first quarter when Warriors center Joe Kenney snapped the ball over the head of punter Chris Giorgio and out of the end zone for a safety.
Then, after the ensuing free kick, Murphy scored his first touchdown on a 15-yard run for an 8-0 lead.
Barnstable later capitalized on a short punt and increased its lead to 14-0 on Murphy’s 13-yard run.
Peabody wedged over from the 1 late in the third quarter, and after Jon Eldredge intercepted a pass, Murphy scored from the 1 for a 28-0 lead.
Lincoln-Sudbury averted a shutout when Giorgio scored on a 1-yard plunge with 5:00 remaining.
“You don’t forget things like last year,” Peabody said. “We knew we couldn’t take the foot off the gas and we didn’t.”