BROOKLINE — The plan was for Drew Jacobs to take a few ceremonial carries in his final game in a Milton Academy uniform, and then spend the rest of the game on the sideline nursing a right hamstring injury.
At least that’s what Mustangs coach Kevin MacDonald thought.
Jacobs had other plans.
The senior ran for 198 yards and four touchdowns, all in the second half, as Milton Academy (8-1) turned a close third-quarter game into a 62-18 rout of Dexter (7-2) in the NEPSAC’s Tom Flaherty Bowl.
“The beginning of the game, I wasn’t sure. I was thinking we were going to have to pass the whole game and I wouldn’t be able to run,” said Jacobs, who was forced to watch last week’s loss to Nobles from the sideline. “But with holes like that, anybody could have done it.”
Jacobs fumbled on his first carry. After three carries Jacobs had minus-2 yards. He finished the half with 66, but ran wild for 132 yards on 14 carries in the second half.
“I was shocked he actually did what he did,” said MacDonald, who added Jacobs hadn’t taken a handoff in practice all week. “That was pure guts.”
“He’s our binky. He’s our security blanket. They just have more confidence and swagger when he’s out there.”
While Jacobs was struggling to find his footing in the first half, senior quarterback Anthony Scurto and sophomore receiver Domenic Cozier shouldered the load.
The two connected five times for 96 yards, including touchdowns of 41 and 22 yards.
“Drew carried us all year, so I kind of just took the reins that half,” Scurto said. “And then he took them in the second half, as usual.”
The Mustangs also turned to their defense and special teams.
With the game tied, 6-6, in the first quarter, Ethan Webster-Zinn blocked a Dexter punt that Matthew Morin recovered and ran in 10 yards for a TD. Then in the second quarter, Morin forced a fumble by Dexter quarterback Luke Cuneo and Sean Sylva returned it 50 yards for a 27-12 halftime lead.
Cuneo connected with Mark Webber for a 78-yard touchdown on the second play of the third quarter, but that was as close as Dexter would get.
Cozier had two second-half interceptions, returning one for a 35-yard touchdown. “I just saw daylight,” Cozier said.
By the time Jacobs scored his fourth TD with 6:55 left, the refs had made it a running clock. The only thing that temporarily stopped it was MacDonald calling time to bring his seniors out of the game, giving big hugs to Jacobs and Scurto.
After the game, MacDonald threw down his 2008 New England champions jacket at midfield. He’ll be getting a new one soon.
“If I were a betting man, I would not have bet on us,” MacDonald said. “I didn’t think we’d win today.
“It was a real pleasant surprise.”