CANTON — Vincent Burton sparked a second-half explosion for Blue Hills, finishing with career highs of 341 yards rushing and five touchdowns as the Warriors downed Bishop Connolly, 36-13, Friday afternoon.
In the past two games, the senior running back has 592 yards on 93 carries. With the five scores and two 2-point conversions, Burton moved into fifth place on the all-time state scoring list with 562 points.
Since becoming a starter three seasons ago, Burton has helped the Warriors evolve into one of the toughest teams to beat in Eastern Mass.
The Warriors (6-1, 2-0) haven’t lost a Mayflower (Large) League game in three seasons, a time in which the Cougars haven’t won one.
The loss drops the Cougars (4-3 overall) to 0-2 in the division with three league games left.
The Warriors got off to an unusually slow start offensively, and trailed by 1 point going into halftime.
“It was important [to win this game] if we had any hopes of going to the playoffs,” said Bishop Connolly first-year coach Justin Kogler, who took over a team that had won only two games the past two seasons and had never finished above .500.
Bishop Connolly scored on an 8-yard rush by Matt Amaral and a 48-yard pass from quarterback Brian Quinn to Brandon Camara, which helped them to a 13-6 lead halfway through the second quarter.
That’s when Burton took over.
With a “must-win” ferocity, Burton flattened defenders on his way to a 7-yard touchdown just before the break.
He was just getting started.
Eight plays into Blue Hills’s second drive of the second half, the Warriors’ juggernaut bowled his way to a 38-yard touchdown. He then rushed in the 2-point conversion for a 20-13 lead.
Burton scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 67-yard dash through the center of the defensive line.
“It started off really slow for us, they came out playing really good, hitting hard, and beating me up,” said Burton. “The second half we knew that we had to pick it up a notch and win this game because we can’t lose the league if you want to make the playoffs.
“My line of Mike Niles, Kevin O’Callaghan, Jeff Sanchez, David Neil, Richard Kelly, Michael Kelly, and Jason Fernandes started blocking really well,” said Burton. “They came out better in the second half and I knew that we were losing and if we lost it could jeopardize our season, so I knew I had to turn it up.”