FOXBOROUGH - Needham opened the game with a successful onside kick and marched to a touchdown. It appeared as if the Bay State Conference champions were going to give BC High a battle.
Appearances were deceiving. The Eagles regrouped and scored three straight touchdowns en route to a 21-7 victory in the Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
Senior running back Deontae Ramey-Doe rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns as BC High finished with 360 yards of offense, 300 on the ground.
“When I first stepped in [to Gillette Stadium], it was huge, I was really nervous,’’ Ramey-Doe said. “I’ve never been on a bigger stage. My mind-set was to run as hard as I could and trust the linemen, and everything would be there.’’
The Rockets were suddenly forced to play catch-up after Ramey-Doe’s second touchdown, a 91-yard jaunt that gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
But the Eagles defense, which finished the season allowing just 13.3 points per game, refused to break after Ramey-Doe scored from 1 yard to make it 21-7.
Needham (9-4) had the ball on its 43-yard line with 3:20 left in the game, and the Rockets needed to score quickly.
Sophomore quarterback Ryan Charter got the Rockets to BC High’s 22-yard line, but he threw an interception at the 8-yard line.
“We thought they were going to throw the ball more today with our run defense,’’ BC High coach Jon Bartlett said. “Their sophomore quarterback had a good game today, but our defense came up with some big turnovers.’’
Needham had another chance to make it a one-possession game after BC High fumbled on the 45-yard line with 6:06 remaining, but senior running back Mike Vespa was stuffed on fourth-and-2.
BC High’s defense allowed just 85 yards in the first half, and looked even sharper after the break with three interceptions.
“A couple of them could have been caught, but BC High’s defense is one of the best in the state,’’ Needham coach Dave Duffy said. “We had our opportunities, but give them credit, they’re a great football team and deserve to be Division 1 state football champs.’’
On the Rockets’ third play in the second half, BC High senior Yosa Nosamiefan tipped a pass and senior Gordon McLeod made a diving catch for the interception.
The Eagles used 13 plays to go 75 yards and erased 6:40 off the clock as Ramey-Doe finished the drive with a 1-yard score.
In the first half, the Eagles used two runs from Ramey-Doe to take a 14-7 lead at the break.
Vespa capped the Rockets’ opening drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception, but Ramey-Doe answered with a 5-yard score. In the second quarter, he broke loose for the 91-yard TD.
“We were just keeping our composure, we knew big plays were going to happen,’’ Ramey-Doe said. “We knew sometimes we were going to be in holes, but we just had to dig ourselves out of it.’’
BC High won its second title in three years. The Eagles toppled Brockton in 2008.
“It’s been what I’ve waited for my whole life,’’ senior quarterback Bartley Regan said. “Our defense has been phenomenal all year, and Deontae did a great job and stepped in when Preston [Cooper] went down. But you got to give credit to the O-line, they made every hole open and it came down to them.’’