B-R outlasts Xaverian
Trojans prevail in double overtime
WESTWOOD - Even though yesterday’s game between No. 10 Bridgewater-Raynham and No. 5 Xaverian was a nonleague contest with no playoff implications, the tone of the battle was akin to the EMass Super Bowl.
Visiting B-R was led by Nick Schlatz (33 carries, 161 yards, 2 touchdowns) and got four key interceptions on defense to outlast Xaverian, 28-22, in double overtime at the Hawk Bowl. The Trojans are 5-1 while the Hawks fell to 4-3.
“I told the kids before the game, ‘This is a nonleague game against one of the best teams in the state, it’s a beautiful day, let’s go out and have some fun, let’s put it all out on the line,’’ said B-R coach Dan Buron.
After going to overtime against the Hawks the previous three years, Trojan seniors had this game circled on their calendars.
“We always look forward to this game, it’s the biggest game on our schedule,’’ said Branden Morin, who intercepted two passes and scored two touchdowns.
Deadlocked at 14 after four quarters, Xaverian’s Hunter Taute scored from 2 yards out and Austin DeCarr hit Mike Warren for the two-point conversion to make it 22-14 in the extra session. B-R’s Schlatz scored from 10 yards out, and Morin hit tight end Dan Noviello on a halfback pass to tie it at 22.
Morin scored on a 3-yard run in the second overtime, and despite the failed two-point conversion, the Trojans had a 28-22 advantage. Eric Wabrek sealed the victory in the next series when he intercepted DeCarr on third down.
“Branden goes a little unnoticed with Nick, and so does Eric Wabrek, but they’re strong on defense, and they block extremely well in that Power-I set on offense,’’ Buron said. “Both these guys are key contributors for us.’’
Bridgewater-Raynham ate up nearly 17 minutes in the first half, but the Hawks scored first when DeCarr (7 of 16, 131 yards, one touchdown, four interceptions) hit Mike Warren on a corner route that the senior tightroped down the sideline for a 58-yard touchdown.
The Trojans answered on the next series as Schlatz knotted the score with a 4-yard run. Morin gave his team the lead before halftime when he intercepted an out route by DeCarr and rumbled 45 yards for a 14-7 B-R lead.
“[DeCarr] looked to my side, so I knew where he was going to throw the ball,’’ Morin said. “He looked right to the split end, so I just jumped in front of that one.’’
On the first series of the third quarter, Xaverian marched 79 yards on 16 plays, ending with a 6-yard run by Chris Calvanese for a 14-14 tie entering the fourth quarter.
Both squads had opportunities to win in the fourth, but DeCarr was picked off twice by Kevin Wadsworth and Morin, while the Trojans were stuffed on a fourth down run near midfield.
“At the end there I probably did some stupid things people would question, but I just didn’t want to give them the ball back because of how explosive they are,’’ Buron said of his fourth down gamble.
The win is the fifth straight for B-R, which opens Old Colony league play at Dartmouth Friday.
“This win means a lot for us,’’ said the senior Schlatz. “It gives us momentum and it gives us a lot of confidence. We buckled our chinstraps when we had to today.’’