by David James
Michael Jordan was once quoted saying, “I’ve never lost a game, I just ran out of time.” You can argue whether this is an accurate statement, or just a cocky excuse, but in the Rocketeer’s last game on Friday, “We ran out of time” is an accurate description.
Going into the week, the team had heard from sources that DeMeritt had broken his collarbone and that he would join Reagan, who had been out almost the entire season with
a broken foot, on the sidelines. This was the common thought among most of the team until about 6 o’clock when the Rocketeers saw both DeMeritt and Reagan on the field during pre-game warmups.
Luckily for North, after only one carry, DeMerritt decided he wasn’t in good enough shape to continue the game and never returned.
“I don’t think it would have been pretty if we had to worry about the rushing attack too,” said Jack Dakin. “The only reason we were able to manage their passing attack was because we knew that’s what was coming.”
It was a different story for Reagan, who lead the Dragons with seven catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns
“His presence alone was enough of a momentum shift to give them the advantage.” said David Engler. “We tried a few different things, but nothing was really able to stop him, especially near the goal line.”
It was a record night for Maimaron (217 yards passing, 3 TD, 85 yards rushing, 1 TD) who entered the game tied for the career passing touchdown record (112), and finished well ahead of it with still three games left to play.
“He’s definitely the best quarterback, probably the best player I’ve seen,” said Jack Dakin. “Just when we thought we had him he’d make an unbelievable play to keep the chains moving.”
With all this talent, Duxbury’s offense was able to move the ball at will on the Rocketeer’s defense in the first half with little errors.
“We got lucky to hold them to 12 points in the first half. They could have had more but we just made some big plays,” explained Tom Vidal. None of these plays were bigger that Hacmoni Cuevas’s interception that set the Rocketeers up for a quick score right before the half. That gave North the momentum they needed going into halftime.
When North came back onto the field in the third quarter, they had a better plan set up, but couldn’t seem to make the plays they needed to. Duxbury started targeting Reagan more often and made the plays the Rocketeers couldn’t. After a few North mistakes, the Rocketeers found themselves down 26-7.
But they never gave up. After a few sideline adjustments, the Hockomock Davenport division champions finally began to click. The offense, lead by Kyle McCarthy (5 catches, 106 yards), finally got moving down the field and the defense made the plays on third and fourth down they hadn’t in the
first three quarters and found themselves down just 26-19.
With less than two minutes left, down by just one score, the game came down to an onside kick that Maimaron was able to recover and seal the game for the Dragons.
Though it is heartbreaking to lose in the playoffs in any scenario, the team has quickly moved on and is excited to play Attleboro on Thanksgiving and exact some revenge for last year’s upset loss.
“I can’t wait to play them again,” says Paul Meunier. “We’re going to take the trophy home and keep it there for years to come.”