BRIDGEWATER — Despite entering Saturday’s Division 2 state semifinal against Milford with a state-best 26-game win streak, Catholic Memorial still felt determined to make a statement after not playing up to its own standards in recent weeks.
The defending Division 2 state champion and fourth-seeded Knights rose to the occasion and proved the D2 state title runs through them after they cruised to a dominant 41-7 victory over top-seeded Milford at Bridgewater-Raynham.
“It’s great because we really haven’t been playing well,” CM senior tailback Datrell Jones said. “This was a big statement game for us.”
The victory extends CM’s win streak to 27 and sets up a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl against second-seeded King Philip (9-1). CM (10-0) will first meet BC High on Thanksgiving, while Milford (9-2) will close out its season at Taunton on Turkey Day.
Jones, a Boston College-bound tailback, anchored CM’s ground game Saturday with 10 carries for 163 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed for touchdowns of 55, 18 and 58 yards — all in the first quarter — to help the Knights build a 20-0 lead at the end of the opening frame.
“He stepped up to the plate and played great,” CM coach John DiBiaso said.
Jones said he felt extra pressure to perform well because the Knights’ other star senior running back, Carson Harwood, has recently been battling an ankle injury. Harwood played sparingly Saturday, a decision DiBiaso said was made due to soreness he felt and the lead CM had built.
“I had a lot of weight on my shoulders but I’ve been waiting for this all year and all my life,” Jones said.
Senior Jaedn Skeete caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from fellow senior JC Petrongolo, and senior Maxwell Tucker hauled in a 27-yard TD strike from freshman Peter Bourque, CM’s backup QB. Sophomore Lesean Sharp capped off CM’s scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, while junior Owen Callahan had Milford’s only score—a 5-yard touchdown run—in the fourth.
Even after the landslide victory, DiBiaso said the Knights can improve before they face KP in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl, which CM won 43-18 to claim the program’s first state title in 43 years.
“We had a bunch of illegal procedure penalties and made enough mistakes that I can still get on their case,” DiBiaso said.