Text by Steev Riccardo. Patriot staff photos.
WORCESTER - When the Bartlett Indians football team puts it all together offensively, they can be hard to handle.
This past Saturday afternoon the Indians were operating on all cylinders and disassembled the Worcester South High Colonials 45-6 at Foley Stadium.
The Indians, who are now 5-5 heading into a crucial Thanksgiving Day encounter with archrival the Southbridge Pioneers, had their offense going and got some great efforts from a variety of players on the defensive side of the ball as well.
After holding the Colonials on the opening possession, the Indians went to work early as sophomore back James Patterson broke free on the second play from scrimmage for a tantalizing 81- yard run. Newcomer Matt Pepin, playing in his first varsity game, added the extra point, giving the Indians a 7-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
On their second possession, Patterson and sophomore Harry Le had back to back runs of 14 and 13 yards setting up senior co-captain Akeem Belnavis who romped 54 yards for the Indians’ second score. Pepin’s extra point made it 14-0 with 2:35 left in the opening quarter.
Alex Givins-Perry scored the third Indians touchdown on a one-yard plunge. Earlier in the drive, junior quarterback Ricky Spooner connected with Belnavis on a nice 15-yard pass play and Givins-Perry’s nifty 35-yard run to set up the score.
Belnavis scored his second touchdown of the day with a 19-yard run and Pepin kicked his fourth straight extra point and just like that it was 28-0.
Pepin, who was already in the middle of an audacious debut, kicked a 28-yard field goal just before the half, giving the visitors a 31-0 lead. It was Bartlett’s first and only field goal of the season, which in itself was pretty remarkable.
Givins-Perry, who finished with an incredible 216 yards on only 12 carries, added two more scores in the second half on runs of 78 and 29 yards to round off the Indians scoring explosion.
Patterson also had an outstanding game with 97 yards rushing and the one big score, while Belnavis averaged 20 yards a carry with four carries on 80 yards and two touchdowns.
There were several other great performances for the Indians. Sophomore Jacob Mailloux had a pair of sacks, fellow sophomore and the Indians defensive leader Neil Flanigan had a fumble recovery and an interception, while Andrew “Darkness” Delille forced a fumble and played his usual strong game on defense.
Perhaps the biggest surprise and the player that could make the most dividends for the Indians was Pepin, who in his debut had 6 extra points and a field goal.
“The kids worked hard, they studied the schemes, we knew what was coming defensively at us to start the game and we put in our game plan and the kids did a great job learning it,” said head coach Dane Laboissonniere.
“They battled through some adversity this week, we had a day that we were practicing outside in the snow and we could only get 45 minutes in and we had another day in the gym and usually you think that a gym practice is going to be half hearted, it might not be the best practice you have ever had and the kids came out flying around and our defensive day in the gym was awesome.”
The coach was also pretty pleased with his young kicker’s debut. “Matt’s a converted soccer player and the kids came out and said this guy can kick, give him a shot, so he came out and tried it out and we said alright. He works really hard in practice; he did a great job booting the ball for us today.”
Pepin didn’t even know until his name was called that he would be getting an opportunity to kick. “This is my first year ever participating in football and I didn’t know what I was doing so I had to do what people told me to do. I feel pretty good, it’s a good way to start a new football career.”
Laboissonniere also praised Flanigan’s play. “He is going to go as far as he wants to if he works as hard as he can. He is an extremely talented player and he is one of the better high school sophomores that I have ever seen. If he continues to work hard in the offseason and his next two seasons, he is going to go down as one of the all time greats here at Bartlett. He works very hard and he is very smart and we are very happy to have him on our side.”
“We had a pretty good week of practice and we were pretty excited to be playing at Foley Stadium and we came out and did our jobs,” said Flanigan, who had his first career interception and played his typical hard-nosed game on defense.
The Indians now have one more hurdle to climb to make this a successful winning season and they are looking to do something they haven’t done in over five years and that’s take care of business on Thanksgiving and defeat Southbridge.
Stay tuned for the Thanksgiving preview issue next week in The Patriot and until then, check out View From The Sidelines every week in the Patriot and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ViewFromTheSidelines or contact
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- Sunday, 11 November 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports