Two Super Bowl contenders from a year ago squared off on Friday at Madison Park, but it was the Dorchester Bears and their stifling defense that looked to be in championship form, opening their 2013 campaign with a dominant 22-0 win over Madsion Park.
The Bears, who notched six shutouts last year during their 10-win, undefeated regular season, looked as if they did not miss a beat. The Cardinals on the other hand missed quite a few.
Madison Park football has been built around a ground-and-pound mentality offensively, but the Bears took the Cardinals right out of their game.
The Boston North’s highest-scoring team last season at nearly 21 points per game, Madison Park was held to minus-16 total yards by the Bears. And although Madison Park is young — the Cardinals returned just three players from last season’s team — the Bears’ victory says a lot about where the teams are headed.
“We have a lot of seniors coming back,’’ said Dorchester coach Richard Moran. “Last year, believe it or not, we were young so we played a lot of juniors, and they are all back [this year]. So when we went into camp, the kids were ready to go. They knew we could input a lot of information and things like that, so things just clicked right away,”
One key defensive returner from last year’s squad, middle linebacker Leon Sealy, was all over the field, making four solo tackles and leading the way for the formidable Bears defense.
“We have the best defensive coordinator in the business in coach Joe Kane,” said Sealy. “And we’re just excited, the season is finally back. Last year’s loss in the Super Bowl hurt us, but we’re just glad to be back on the field.”
Offensively, the Bears looked to be in even better form than a year ago, racking up 225 total rushing yards against a usually stingy Cardinals defense.
Newcomer Johnny Mims, a transfer from Cambridge Ringe & Latin, made his Bears debut a big one, rushing for 104 yards and a touchdown on just eight attempts. Mims scored the team’s final touchdown in the closing minutes of the second quarter on 26-yard rush. Seniors Demetrius Leary and Trevaughn McCoy (7 rushes, 52 yards) also scored first-half touchdowns. Leary found paydirt on a 1-yard run to open the scoring and McCoy tacked on a 12-yarder at the tail end of the first quarter.
Next up for Dorchester: The Bears will open their new field Friday against undefeated Latin Academy (2-0, two shutouts).