Sports

Bridgewater-Raynham coach stunned by upset loss

WESTWOOD — Bridgewater-Raynham coach Dan Buron searched for the words to describe his top-seeded Trojans’ 49-13 beatdown at the hands of No. 10 Xaverian Saturday afternoon at the Hawk Bowl.

After acknowledging how the Hawk defense continually attacked the line of scrimmage to disrupt the run, Buron finally came up with his analogy: “It was like a freshman team against the Patriots.”

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The Trojans’ starting offense was held to 60 yards on 20 rushes before being pulled early in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Gallagher rushed 16 times for only 42 yards, 25 coming with the Hawks’ top defense out of the game with the outcome decided.

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Xaverian (2-0) took away B-R’s rushing attack from the beginning and forced Trojan quarterback Matt Clement to pass. The Hawk linebackers attacked the line of scrimmage on the first sign of run, often leaving open passing lanes on play-action passes that, for the most, B-R couldn’t take advantage of.

Clement completed 7 of 12 passes for 91 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was also sacked three times and lost a fumble.

“They blitzed everybody and we didn’t go a good job of picking up the blitzes,” Buron said. “They were beating us off the ball on both sides. They just outplayed us from start to finish.”

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Xaverian assistant Al Fornaro said the Hawks’ defensive rush might have seemed like a run blitz, but it wasn’t. He knew Buron wanted to establish the run, so he had his linebackers key Gallagher’s first step to identify plays as runs, which often led to negative yardage.

Gallagher had six rushes that finished short of the line of scrimmage.

“It’s a lot better to meet [Gallagher] on their side of the line of scrimmage than let him get in to our side and into the secondary because he’ll run wild,” Fornaro said.

Bridgewater-Raynham (2-1) started taking advantage of the holes in the coverage at the second level on its first scoring drive.

Trailing, 14-0, in the second quarter and facing a fourth and 10 at the Xaverian 29, Clement hit Ryan Martin across the middle of the field for a big completion, and Martin darted into the end zone to make it 14-6.

And on their next drive, the Trojans started using more play-action to catch the Hawk defense pursuing the run. Clement connected with tight end Connor Reagan three times for 28 yards and a pair of first downs. But the drive stalled on the Hawk 21-yard-line when a fourth-and-1 pass one-hopped a wide-open Arcel Armstead that would have led to a first down.

Xaverian took over on downs. Three plays later, the Hawks punched it in to make it a 21-6 game.

“Fundamentally, we certainly didn’t look like the team we had been the last two weeks,” Buron said. “And I wasn’t sure how good we were the last two weeks. But quite honestly, I don’t know if since the first half of the St. John’s game if we’re going in the wrong direction.”

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