BRIDGEWATER — If Arcel Armstead dreamed of trophies during a tryptophan nap Thursday afternoon, it would be hard to blame him.
The Bridgewater-Raynham senior running back rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown en route to a 20-6 win over Brockton as the Trojans recaptured the Cape Cod Cafe Bowl after a one-year hiatus. B-R leads the Thanksgiving Day series, 3-1.
Armstead garnered game MVP honors — for the second year in a row — for his efforts. He took it home last season for his defensive play in a 27-14 loss.
“I love it. It’s the best way to go out. Turkey’s going to taste even better,” said Armstead, pausing from taking pictures with his new hardware. “I couldn’t have done it without my O-line, they’re the best guys in the world. They’ve been blocking for me for forever now. I just love the game. I’m so amped right now.
“It just feels so surreal. And it’s at home and we almost got a shutout. I’m feeling pretty good right now.”
Armstead carried a heavier load than normal for the Trojans (7-3), whose star running back, junior Brandon Gallagher, was not at full strength. Gallagher is banged up from a long season and had the flu most of the week, according to coach Dan Buron.
Gallagher and Armstead both had trouble establishing the running game early against the Boxers (5-6), but with the wind blowing — deterring the teams from throwing with regularity — Buron’s boys kept at it.
B-R broke through in the second quarter following junior Isaiah Bell’s interception.
The drive was nearly a short one. Gallagher’s 10-yard scramble on a fake punt gave B-R another chance.
Armstead capped the sequence with his sixth rush of the drive, pounding it in from the 1-yard line for the 6-0 lead.
“We just always play with heart,” Armstead said. “Every single time we get shut out, we get out there next play and want to go smack them in the mouth again. That’s the way the Trojans have been playing, that’s the way we have always been rolling.”
That stood as the lone score until the fourth. Junior quarterback Matt Clement found classmate Connor Reagan in the end zone for an over-the-shoulder catch from 14 yards out with 5:36 to play.
Minutes later, following senior Theo Barbetto’s fumble recovery, Clement punched it in from the 1.
The B-R defense nearly posted a shutout, but on the final play of the game, Brockton senior Aaron LeClair reeled in Aaron Williams’s 25-yard toss.
“This team really just decided they wanted to go out as winners, and it’s a credit to them,” Buron said. “It’s a great legacy to leave for the younger kids.”