Battered and bruised after a grueling defensive effort, BC High senior linebacker Steve DiCienzo could hardly clench his right fist.
He had spent the night punishing opponents and capped his efforts with a crushing hit in the Boxers’ backfield as Brockton made one last attempt to even the score. But Brockton never got as far as its own 20 when time expired.
DiCienzo also provided the only score of the game, a 1-yard run, as host BC High grinded out a 6-0 victory to stun the No. 9 Boxers on Friday night.
“In all games, you just have to do your job, and at halftime, coach just kept stressing, ‘Do your job and we’ll be successful,’ ” DiCienzo said. “And we knew we were in really good shape as a team. It’s definitely paying off, conditioning was a big factor in that one.”
In the defensive bout, it was a special-teams play that provided the swing for the Eagles. Brockton’s Aaron LeClair muffed a punt return with 3:05 to go in the third quarter and Ismail Asongwed recovered it for the Eagles at the Brockton 15-yard line.
On third and 6, Brockton was called for pass interference in the end zone and an offsides penalty brought the ball to the 1-yard line, setting up DiCienzo’s winning run.
“Any time you have a tight game, special-teams play is a big part of the game,” BC High coach Joe Gaff said. “We work very hard on our special teams around here and today it really helped us.”
In the fourth, Brockton had its best opportunity to tie the game. After a BC High unsportsmanlike penalty on the kick return, Brockton started at the Eagles’ 44 and drove to the 15.
On third and 5, Pat Burke completed a pass to LeClair, but he came up short of the first down. On fourth and 2, the Eagles defensive line swarmed LeClair at the 12-yard line for no gain and a turnover on downs.
Dennis-Yarmouth 31, Plymouth South 12 — With Plymouth South’s Dylan Oxsen sidelined with an ankle injury, the host Dolphins handed the No. 16 Panthers their first loss of the year. Senior Spencer Tyler led the way with a passing and rushing touchdown.
Needham 34, Framingham 12 — Mike Panepinto rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns as the No. 18 Rockets (3-1) prevailed.
O'Bryant 14, Boston English 8 — Joseph Farrell’s 18-yard touchdown reception from Ajoni Alfred-McFall was the difference for the Tigers (4-0).
Latin Academy 28, New Mission 0 — Kyle Dance had a pair of TD passes and one rushing TD to lead the Dragons (5-0).
Brighton 18, West Roxbury 14 — Jalen Apperwhite hooked up with Dexter Andrews from 7 yards out with three seconds left to power the Bengals (4-0).
Amesbury 20, Hamilton-Wenham 13 — With four minutes remaining, Ben Cullen intercepted a pass and took it 65 yards for the winning TD.
Martha’s Vineyard 8, Bishop Stang 6 — For the second straight week, the Vineyarders played to a scoreless tie in regulation. This time they came out on top, beating the host Spartans.
Acton-Boxborough 40, Newton South 21 — Thomas Saponaro rushed for three touchdowns for the Colonials.
Bedford 27, Weston 0 — Olan Abner rushed for 282 yards and four scores on 36 carries for the Buccaneers (3-1).
Malden 35, Somerville 15 — Raymond Sainristil scored twice for the Golden Tornadoes.
Milford 38, Canton 35 — Eric Nunez hit a 23-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to lift the Scarlet Hawks (1-3).
Diman 15, Blue Hills 14 — The Bengals (4-0) stopped the visiting Warriors (3-1) on fourth and goal from the 3 with 25 seconds to play.
Tewksbury 49, Lawrence 14 — Johnny Aylward passed for three TDs and rushed for another for the No. 15 Redmen.
Haverhill 17, Methuen 0 — Tommy Maguire ran for two touchdowns late in the fourth to help the Hillies hand the No. 19 Rangers (4-1) their first loss.
Watertown 17, Wakefield 14 — Santino Fierimonte kicked a 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to lift the Raiders.
Barnstable 35, New Bedford 14 — Hayden Murphy (15 carries, 115 yards) ran for three TDs to lead the No. 11 Red Raiders.
St. John’s (S) 49, Nashoba 21 — Shane Combs rushed for four TDs as the Pioneers (3-1) ended Nashoba’s 29-game winning streak.